Athletics comprises a variety of running, jumping, throwing and walking events.

The sport of athletics is defined by the many events which make up its competition programmes. All events within the sport are forms of running, walking, jumping or throwing. These events are divided into the sub-sports of track and field, road running, racewalking and cross country running.

The Olympic athletics programme has played a significant role in shaping the most common events in the sport. The World Athletics Championships is the foremost World Championship event, holding the vast majority of World Championship-level events within the competition. A small number of events, such as the 60 metres, are exclusive to the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

Two further, separate World Championship events are held for their specific events: the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships and the World Athletics Cross Country Championships. Cross country is one of many events which have appeared at Olympics but no longer form part of the Olympic athletics schedule. Some events, such as the mile run, remain very popular at competitions, despite having neither Olympic nor World Championship status.

Olympic and World Championship events

Current events

Event Olympic Games Outdoor Championships Indoor Championships Other World Athletics Championships Notes
Men Women Men Women Men Women Men Women
60 metres 19001904 1985Present 1985Present
100 metres 1896Present 1928Present 1983Present 1983Present
200 metres 1900Present 1948Present 1983Present 1983Present 19852004 19852004
400 metres 1896Present 1964Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
800 metres 1896Present 1928, 1960Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
1500 metres 1896Present 1972Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
3000 metres 19841992 19831993 1985Present 1985Present
5000 metres 1912Present 1996Present 1983Present 1995Present
10,000 metres 1912Present 1988Present 1983Present 1987Present
4×100 metres relay 1912Present 1928Present 1983Present 1983Present
4×400 metres relay 1912Present 1972Present 1983Present 1983Present 1991Present 1991Present
Mixed 4×400 metres relay 2020Present 2019Present
60 metres hurdles 1985Present 1985Present
100 metres hurdles 1972Present 1983Present
110 metres hurdles 1896Present 1983Present
400 metres hurdles 1900Present
(except 1912)
1984Present 1983Present 1983Present
3000 metres steeplechase 1920Present 2008Present 1983Present 2005Present
Mile run
(road)
2023 – Present 2023 – Present World Road Running Championships
5 kilometres
(road)
2023 – Present 2023 – Present World Road Running Championships
Half-marathon (road) 1992Present (except 2006) 1992Present Held annually as the World Half-Marathon Championships until 2010 and held biennially from 2012 to 2020; part of World Road Running Championships starting in 2023; 2006 edition replaced by a 20k run
Marathon
(road)
1896Present 1984Present 1983Present 1983Present
20 kilometres
race walk

(road)
1956Present 2000Present 1983Present 1999Present
35 kilometres
race walk

(road)
2022Present 2022Present
Marathon race walk mixed relay (road) 2024 – Present 2024 – Present World Race Walking Team Championships
Cross country running 19121924 1973Present 1973Present World Athletics Cross Country Championships
Cross country running mixed relay 2017Present World Athletics Cross Country Championships
Pole vault 1896Present 2000Present 1983Present 1999Present 1985Present 1997Present
High jump 1896Present 1928Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
Long jump 1896Present 1948Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
Triple jump 1896Present 1996Present 1983Present 1993Present 1985Present 1993Present
Shot put 1896Present 1948Present 1983Present 1983Present 1985Present 1985Present
Discus throw 1896Present 1928Present 1983Present 1983Present
Hammer throw 1900Present 2000Present 1983Present 1999Present
Javelin throw 1908Present 1932Present 1983Present 1983Present
Pentathlon 19121924 19641980 1995Present
Heptathlon 1984Present 1983Present 1995Present
Decathlon 1912Present 1983Present

Former championship events

Event Olympic Games Outdoor Championships Indoor Championships Other World Athletics Championships Notes
Men Women Men Women Men Women Men Women
4 × 200 metres relay 20142021 20142021
Sprint medley relay 1908
Mixed 2 × 2 × 400 metres relay 20192021 World Relay Championships
4 × 800 metres relay 20142017 20142017 World Relay Championships
Distance medley relay 2015 2015 World Relay Championships
4 × 1500 metres relay 2014 2014 World Relay Championships
3000 metres
team race
19121924
80 metres hurdles 19321968
200 metres hurdles 19001904
Shuttle hurdle relay 20192021 World Relay Championships
3000 metres
race walk

(track)
19851993
5000 metres
race walk

(track)
19851993
10,000 metres race walk
(track)
19121924,

19481952

19921996 19871997
10 kilometres
(road)
19831984 World Women's Road Race Championships
15 kilometres
(road)
19851991 World Women's Road Race Championships
20 kilometres
(road)
2006 2006 Replaced the half-marathon in 2006 only at the World Road Running Championships
50 kilometres
race walk

(road)
19322020
(except 1976)
19832019 20172019
Marathon relay
(road)
19921998 19921998 World Road Relay Championships
Cross country running short race 19982006 19982006 World Cross Country Championships
Standing
high jump
19001912
Standing
long jump
19001912
Standing
triple jump
19001904
56 pound
weight throw
1904, 1920

Other common events

Misc

See also

References