A copy of the Ancient Greek statue Discobolus, portraying a discus thrower

Athletics is a group of sporting events that involves competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross-country running, and racewalking.

The results of racing events are decided by finishing position (or time, where measured), while the jumps and throws are won by the athlete that achieves the highest or furthest measurement from a series of attempts. The simplicity of the competitions, and the lack of a need for expensive equipment, makes athletics one of the most common types of sports in the world. Athletics is mostly an individual sport, with the exception of relay races and competitions which combine athletes' performances for a team score, such as cross country.

Organized athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC. The rules and format of the modern events in athletics were defined in Western Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th century, and were then spread to other parts of the world. Most modern top level meetings are held under the auspices of World Athletics, the global governing body for the sport of athletics, or its member continental and national federations. (Full article...)

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The European 10,000m Cup is an annual 10,000 metres race for European athletes which was first held in 1997. The competition is organised by the European Athletics Association and first began as the European 10000 Metres Challenge (European 10,000m Challenge till 2005 edition), after the event was removed from the European Cup programme. The competition has roots in the Iberian 10,000 metres Championships – a competition between Spanish and Portuguese athletes that was held between 1991 and 1996 – and the first five editions of the European 10000 Metres Challenge were held in the Iberian Peninsula. The event was first held under its current title in 2005. From 2018, the event has been held as the climax of the Night of 10k PB's event at Parliament Hill, London. (Full article...)

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Juantorena winning the 800 m final at the 1976 Olympics

Alberto Juantorena (born 3 December 1950) is a Cuban former runner. He is the only athlete to win both the 400 and 800 m Olympic titles, which he achieved in 1976. He was ranked as world's best runner in the 400 m in 1974 and 1976–1978, and in the 800 m in 1976–77, and was chosen as the Track & Field News Athlete of the Year in 1976 and 1977. (Full article...)

Juantorena proceeded to win a gold medal at the 1973 World University Games and a silver at the 1975 Pan American Games, both in the 400 meters. He was unbeaten in 1973 and 1974, but underwent two operations on his foot in 1975.[1] He only seriously took up running the 800 meters in 1976, so few thought he was a candidate for the Olympic gold that year. His coach, Zabierzowski, had initially tricked him in to trying an 800 m race by convincing him the other runners needed a pacemaker.[2]

Juantorena made it to the 800m Olympic final, and led the field for most of the race, eventually winning in a world record time of 1:43.50.[3] He was the first non-English speaking athlete to win Olympic gold in this event. Three days later, he also won the 400 meter final, setting a low-altitude world record at 44.26.[4] By winning the 400 meters, he became the first athlete since Paul Pilgrim at the 1906 Intercalated Games to do such a double at an Olympic sports event, and was the only man to do so at an officially recognized Olympics.[5][6]

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World records

World records as of 20 November 2022
Event Men Record Women Record
100 m Jamaica Usain Bolt 9.58 United States Florence Griffith Joyner 10.49
200 m Jamaica Usain Bolt 19.19 United States Florence Griffith Joyner 21.34
400 m South Africa Wayde van Niekerk 43.03 East Germany Marita Koch 47.60
800 m Kenya David Rudisha 1:40.91 Czechoslovakia Jarmila Kratochvílová 1:53.28
1500 m Morocco Hicham El Guerrouj 3:26.00 Ethiopia Genzebe Dibaba 3:50.07
3000 m Kenya Daniel Komen 7:20.67 China Wang Junxia 8:06.11
5000 m Uganda Joshua Cheptegei 12:35.36 Ethiopia Letesenbet Gidey 14:06.62
10,000 m Uganda Joshua Cheptegei 26:11.00 Ethiopia Letesenbet Gidey 29:01.03
Half marathon Uganda Jacob Kiplimo 57:31 Ethiopia Letesenbet Gidey 1:02:52
Marathon Kenya Eliud Kipchoge 2:01:39 Kenya Brigid Kosgei 2:14:04
3000 m steeplechase Qatar Saif Saaeed Shaheen 7:53.63 Kenya Beatrice Chepkoech 8:44.32
110 / 100 m hurdles United States Aries Merritt 12.80 Nigeria Tobi Amusan 12.12
400 m hurdles Norway Karsten Warholm 45.94 United States Sydney McLaughlin 50.68
High jump Cuba Javier Sotomayor 2.45 m Bulgaria Stefka Kostadinova 2.09 m
Pole vault Sweden Armand Duplantis 6.21 m Russia Yelena Isinbayeva 5.06 m
Long jump United States Mike Powell 8.95 m Soviet Union Galina Chistyakova 7.52 m
Triple jump United Kingdom Jonathan Edwards 18.29 m Venezuela Yulimar Rojas 15.74 m
Shot put United States Ryan Crouser 23.37 m Soviet Union Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m
Discus throw East Germany Jürgen Schult 74.08 m East Germany Gabriele Reinsch 76.80 m
Hammer throw Soviet Union Yuriy Sedykh 86.74 m Poland Anita Włodarczyk 82.98 m
Javelin throw Czech Republic Jan Železný 98.48 m Czech Republic Barbora Špotáková 72.28 m
Decathlon/Heptathlon France Kevin Mayer 9126 pts. United States Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7291 pts.
20 km racewalk Russia Vladimir Kanaykin 1:17:16 China Liu Hong 1:24:38
50 km racewalk France Yohann Diniz 3:32:33 Lindsay Pelas
4×100 m relay  Jamaica 36.84  United States 40.82
4×400 m relay  United States 2:54.29  Soviet Union 3:15.17


Athletics events

Events in the sport of athletics

Athletics competitions

It's from the first edition (1896 Summer Olympics), that Athletics has been considered the "Queen" of the Olympics. Since then there have been a series of competitions organized at world level, than at the continental level. Furthermore, the Athletics is the main sport of nearly all multi-sport events such as Universiade, Mediterranean Games or Pan American Games. The following list refers to the main Athletics competitions that take place in the world.

Event 1st edition Kind of competition Can participate
Olympic Games 1896 World games Worldwide
World Championships 1983 World championships
World Indoor Championships 1985
European Championships 1934 Continental championships Europe
European Indoor Championships 1966
South American Championships 1919 South America
Asian Championships 1973 Asia
African Championships 1979 Africa
Ocenian Championships 1990 Oceania




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  1. ^ "Alberto Juantorena". britannica.com. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  2. ^ Sandrock, p. 207
  3. ^ 'Alberto Juantorena 1976 Olympics 800' on YouTube
  4. ^ 'Legendary: El Caballo Romps' on YouTube
  5. ^ Robb, Sharon (21 June 1980) "Treasure Island Cuba Doesn't Just Love Sports Heroes. It Worships Them". SunSentinel.
  6. ^ Alberto Juantorena. Olympic.org. Retrieved on 25 June 2018.

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