Athletics Headlines & Breaking News
Top 10 female African Athletes in 2022 (5-1) Last time out, we started our Top list for the best female African athletes in 2022, taking an in-depth look at what they achieved and how much it influenced the world of athletics. Here’s our countdown from 5-1 of...
This is a multi-part piece on Darryl Neita on of the top British sprinters. Stuart Weir has seen her race many times and has enjoyed his interview with her. This is a new interview on the bronze medalist at the 100m from the European Championships. Darryl...
On Being a Better High School Track or Cross Country Coach: Learn Something New Every Day, five tips….
I have been wanting to write this column for years now. I have been lucky to work with some of the finest coaches in our sport and developed friendships with some of the world’s best coaches. This will be an ongoing column. Coaches change lives. My coaches at...
RunBlogRun Fall Cross Country Training & Racing Program, Week Twelve, Day Three, a time for recovery…
This is a workout for Wednesday, November 16, 2022. This is day three of Week Twelve of the 2022 RunBlogRun Fall Cross Country Training & Racing program. Recovery is so important for all athletes. Recovery days make sense for track & field athletes,...
Coffee with Larry, Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Sound Running doing good things, In praise of Coaches
Larry Eder Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was...
Socialing The Distance featuring Molly Huddle (Full Interview), from the RunBlogRun Archives (December 2020)
This is a wonderful interview with one of our favorites, Molly Huddle. A two-time Olympian, Molly Huddle, is training after having a baby and just ran well at the BAA Half Marathon last weekend. Molly Huddle is one of our most decorated athletes, and her vigor...
Athletics is the most popular single sport in the Games, with track, field, and road events. Running faster than your competitors is a simple notion, yet every element of an athlete’s performance must be flawless in order to win gold.
Overview of Athletics
The Olympic Stadium’s athletics track is a 400m oval. The finish line for all track events is the same, at the end of the ‘home straight.’
Men and women compete in sprints, middle-distance and long-distance events, hurdles and steeplechase races, and relays on the track. The majority of events begin with heats, with the quickest individuals or teams proceeding to semi-finals and ultimately the final.
To become the fastest human being over a certain distance, athletes must have superior fitness, strength, and the ability to master difficult skills such as the start in sprints and clearing the obstacles in hurdles and steeplechase competitions.
The 100m, 200m, and 400m are short-distance sprint events. These three events (each with men’s and women’s divisions), as well as two hurdles events for men and two for women, all use a crouched start with starting blocks.
The 100m run on a straight course selects the quickest human being and is one of the most anticipated events at any Games. At the Athens 1896 Games, the distance was covered in 12 seconds, while Jim Hines (USA) was the first Olympian to break 10 seconds in Mexico in 1968. Since then, the world record has largely been broken by American and Jamaican competitors.
The current men’s 100m world record is 9.58 seconds, achieved by Jamaica’s best sprinter, Usain Bolt, during the 2009 IAAF World Championships. Surprisingly, any athlete who runs the distance in less than 10 seconds covers ten metres in less than one second.
- (Men/Women) 100m
- (Men/Women) 200m
- 400m (Men and Women)
- (Men/Women) 800m
- (Men/Women) 1,500m
- (Men/Women) 5,000m
- (Men/Women) 10,000m
- Hurdles 110m (Men)
- 100-meter hurdles (Women)
- Men’s/400m Women’s Hurdles
- (Men/Women) 3,000m Steeplechase
- Relay 4 x 100m (Men/Women)
- Relay of 4 x 400m (Men/Women)
- 400m Mixed Relay (4 x 400m)
Athletics – The sport’s essence Tactics and technique
The distances covered in middle and long-distance races vary from 800m to 10,000m. Athletes must stay in separate lanes for the first 100m of the shortest of these, after which they are free to use any lane. Athletes stand along a crescent-shaped start line in the 1,500m and longer events, and all lanes are free to run in.
Middle-distance runners frequently need to find a dazzling last burst of speed to cross the finish line first, but endurance and running efficiency, along with adaptable strategies, can be important in longer races.
The 3,000m steeplechase adds the obstacle of leaping over barriers set at five different locations around the track. These obstacles have a set height of 36 inches (91.4cm) for males and 30 inches (76.2cm) for women. One of the five consists of a water leap, which depletes energy and can be difficult to execute.
The hurdles events include the women’s 100m, men’s 110m, and men’s and women’s 400m. The shorter races take place on a straight track, while the longer races take place over one lap, with 10 hurdles to pass.
Victory in four-person relay competitions is more than just assembling the competitors with the best speeds. Technique can be more important than speed, as demonstrated by the Japanese squad participating in the men’s 4x100m relay at Rio 2016.
In a competition filled with runners capable of sprinting 100m in under ten seconds, the Japanese team had none and nevertheless finished second behind powerhouse Jamaica. How? Japan used an underhand baton pass, which is a very effective but difficult to perform technique. The team extensively examined the approach before constantly practicing it.
The mixed 4x400m relay will be a new event in Tokyo 2020. The sequence in which the two men and women in each team run might be a deciding element in what promises to be an intense and fascinating spectacle.