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Summer Olympics

Latest news in the world of Athletics.

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An Olympic sport since 1896, athletics (also known as track and field) is in many ways the hallmark of the Olympics, encompassing as it does the motto 'Citius, Altius, Fortius'; faster, higher, stronger.

From the quick 100m sprints to an enduring marathon, long-throwing javelins to high-jumping pole vaults, the athletics events taking place on the track and field are where we see many household names in the Olympics.

All athletes have their place at the games; but without athletics, it just wouldn't bear thinking about.

Athletics - Olympic Competition

Track Events

The athletics track events include the sprints (100m, 200m, 400m), middle-distance running (800m and 1,500m) and long-distance running (5,000m and 10,000m), hurdling (100m and 400m for women, 110m and 400m for men), relays (4 x 100m and 4 x 400m) and the men's 3,000m steeplechase.

Field Events

Field events for men and women include the long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw.

The women's pole vault and hammer throw first made their appearance at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Road Events

Olympic events run on the road are the marathons (men's and women's), the men's 20km and 50km race walks and the women's 10km race walk.

Combined Events

The heptathlon (for women) and decathlon (for men).

Athletes compete in a series of track and field events, over two days, with points accumulated based on their finishes in each event. Easily enough, the person with the most points wins.

Decathlon: (Men)
100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400m, 110m Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, 1,500m.

Heptathlon: (Women)
100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin, 800m.

Men Women
100m; 200m; 400m; 800m; 1,500m; 5,000m; 10,000m.

4x100m relay; 4x400m relay.

110m hurdles; 400m hurdles; 3,000m steeplechase.

Discus; Hammer; Javelin; Shot ut,

High jump; Long jump; Pole vault; Triple jump.

20km race walk; 50km race walk; Marathon.


100m; 200m; 400m; 800m; 1,500m; 5,000m; 10,000m.

4x100m relay; 4x400m relay.

100m hurdles; 400m hurdles.

Discus; Hammer; Javelin; Shot put.

High jump; Long jump; Pole vault; Triple jump.

20km race walk; Marathon.


Athletics - Olympic Greats

Jesse Owens set the benchmark for athletics by breaking five world records and equalling a sixth in the space of 45 minutes, on 25th May 1935.

The American then became the hero of Berlin 1936 by winning four gold medals: in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

Carl Lewis is one of only four Olympic athletes to win nine gold medals and one of only three to win the same individual event four times (the long jump) in Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996.

Marie-José Pérec was born on the island of Guadeloupe and represented France at the Olympics. Pérec won the 400m gold in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, becoming the first runner of either sex to win the 400m twice. Pérec made history again, when she defeated Merlene Ottey of Jamaica, in the 200m final; to become the second runner to win both the 200m and the 400m.

Michael Johnson is the only man to dominate in the 200 and 400 metres events; winning both events in Atlanta 1996 and the 400m again, in Sydney 2000. The American also won gold in the 4x400m relay at both Olympics.

Irena Szewinska won seven medals in five different events for Poland, during a career that earned her podium positions in the four consecutive Olympic Games of Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976.

Iolanda Balas completely dominated women's high jumping for ten years and broke the world record 14 times. The Romanian won golds at the Olympic Games in Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964.

Ulrike Meyfarth has the distinction of being the youngest person of either sex to win an athletics gold medal in an individual event and the oldest person to win an Olympic high jump competition. The German was 16 when she won her first gold in Munich 1972 and returned 12 years later to pick up her second gold medal in Los Angeles 1984.

Gerd Wessig is the only male high jumper to set a world record at the Olympic Games; while winning gold for East Germany, in Moscow 1980.

Jan Zelezny, of the Czech Republic, is the only javelin thrower in Olympic history to win three gold medals: Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. He also won the silver in Seoul 1988.

Daley Thompson, of Great Britain, completed an Olympic double in the Decathlon - Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984.

Olympic Sports

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Athletics Links

17 rue Princesse Florestine, BP 359, MC98007 Monaco.
The International Association of Athletics Federations strive to ensure that Athletics continues to play its leading role among the sports of the world, for the greater benefit of all who practice it as athletes or enjoy it as fans and enthusiasts.


The Athletics Association of Ireland.

Athletics Australia:
Get up-to-date athletics results, photos, news and follow the triumphs of your favourite athletes online.

Athletics Canada:
Whether it’s news on major track and field events, in-depth athlete profiles, or information on association activities, keep up to date in the world of Canadian athletics here.

Athletics New Zealand:
Athletics New Zealand aims to promote participation and facilitate excellence in the sport in New Zealand.

Athletics South Africa:
Official website of the Athletics South Africa.

Deutscher Leichtathletik Verband:
German athletics.

European Athletics Association:
Avenue Louis-Ruchonnet 18, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland.

Fédération Française d'Athlétisme:
The world of French athletics.

UK Athletics:
The official website of UK Athletics.

USA Track and Field:
The national governing body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.


Ato Boldon:
Ato Boldon was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, in 1973 and left for New York City in 1988 where, while playing soccer, he was discovered by head track coach Joe Trupiano at Jamaica High School in Queens.

Sporting Heroes:
Photos of Olympic Gold Medallists.

US Athletes:
Bios of US track and field specialists.

US Olympic Team:
For such a high-profile site we were surprised at the database errors.


Athletics in Central America and the Caribbean.

Masters Track:
How many athletes can say they’ve run, jumped or thrown more than 30, 40 or 80 years. Get in shape. Enter a meet. Break your own recent records.

The official website of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Runners Web:
An Ottawa, Ontario based running and triathlon resource site.

Time to Run:
A comprehensive running site, with articles regarding sports medicine, nutrition, training, as well as a world-wide calendar and more. Catering for all levels of ability by aiming to provide sound advice for runners.

Track Shark:
Dedicated to covering track and field at the collegiate level in the United States.

Link Directories

Africa's Athletics:
Link directory for African athletes and athletics.

Track and Field:
3,700 links to track and field related websites in 25 categories and 293 sub-categories.


Athletics Weekly:
The leading British athletics publication.

Further Reading

Olympic Athletics - Olympic Athletes.


Winter Olympics

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