Athletics – Concept, disciplines and Olympic Games

We explain what athletics is and what are the disciplines that this famous sport covers. Also, what does the Olympic Games consist of?

Athletics finds its origin in the games that were held in Greece and Rome.

What is Athletics?

The word athletics comes from the Greek word athletes and has as meaning any individual who competes in order to obtain recognition. Known as the oldest sport, with a solid and organized structure, athletics consists of a set of sporting events based on running, jumping and throwing.

Athleticism finds its origin in the games that were made in the public space of Greece and Rome. It is commonly said that athletics is the “natural sport” that implies the basics of human action in relation to what is necessary for human development. That is, it refers to the human need to run, jump and throw, to exercise as part of the needs of our body.

Athletics gathers on the same stadium, as was done in ancient times, races and competitions divided according to type of exercise. Performing these athletic activities involves muscle exercise using mainly the force.

The main current tests are:

  • Careers of different lengths,
  • Marathons which are measured according to the kilometers of the journey,
  • March,
  • Jumps in height, length and triple jump,
  • Releases weight, hammer, discus and javelin,
  • Decathlon Y pentathlon, tests that combine different activities.

Disciplines of professional athletics

The javelin throw consists of throwing a javelin as far as possible.

The events that a professional athletics competition contains are:

  • Speed ​​races. They are one of the best known tests in athletics and have been found in all athletics competition since its inception. It consists of the route of a space that varies from 100 meters to 400 meters, in the shortest possible time.
  • Long distance racing. Long-distance races are tests that consist of a distance course of more than 3,000 meters. A long distance runner must have well-developed capacities that allow him to possess physical endurance, resistance to fatigue and resistance to pain.
  • Middle distance racing. These races receive this name since the distance to be covered is at the intermediate point between sprinting and long-distance races. They consist of the route of a space with a distance of between 800 meters and 3000 meters.
  • Racing on roads or streets. They are not recognized as a discipline in the Olympic Games or other competitions. It consists of the route of a certain distance outside the track or athletics stadium. Instead, your route is specified in routes, roads or streets of a town or city.
  • Off-road racing. Although at present it is not a test found in the Olympic Games, it was in previous editions. It consists of the journey of a distance within a natural circuit without urban features. There are individual or team modalities.
  • Hurdling. This test is attributed to the British and consists of jumping hurdles within a specified distance.
  • Backward race. Although it is not considered an Olympic sport, the practice of running in the opposite direction is lately exercised by many athletes.
  • Pole vault. Also known as pole vault, it is a sport that consists of going over a horizontal bar by using a pole and the momentum obtained after traveling a distance of 30 meters.
  • Long jump. The purpose of this discipline is to achieve the maximum distance after jumping over a horizontal space, through the momentum achieved by a certain route.
  • Shot put. It consists of the launch of a ball by a competitor in order to achieve a maximum distance.
  • Discus throw. It consists of the launching of an object with a circular shape and pronounced weight towards a maximum distance.
  • Javelin throw. It is based on the throwing of a javelin made with authorized material as far as possible.

Olympic Games

Athletics is directly related to the establishment of the Olympic games, which constitute the largest sporting event in the world, which brings together the most outstanding athletes from around the world and takes place every four years in a city that serves as the venue for the games.

The requirement for a discipline to become part of the set of events for the Olympic games is that the discipline is practiced in the five continents. In this way, new disciplines are entering that at the origin of the games were not part, in the opposite case several athletic sports competitions have disappeared from these, such as Polo or Rugby.

The marathon is the legendary athletic event, and that recalls the feat achieved by a Greek runner who was sent from Marathon, the village of Attica, to the city of Athens in 490 BC. JC with the aim of announcing the victory of the Athenians over the Persians. This discipline is the most representative icon of all the Olympic games.

The decathlon is the one discipline that combines ten tests (four races, three jumps and three throws), although it is disputed in two consecutive days, it requires the athlete to develop resistance, strength, power and speed skills at the same time, it is understood with this that it is the most complete athletic discipline, and tougher in terms of its level of demand. There is the heptathlon, which is the equivalent of the decathlon, but made up of female athletes. The classification of these two disciplines is according to the score that is accumulating as a result obtained by their performance in each of the activities, based on this a comparative table is formed between the athletes.

On the other hand there is triathlon, which emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, is one of the variations that emerge from the decathlon. However, the triathlon only consists of three activities, which can be swimming, cycling and running, which are carried out consecutively, and without interruption. Its measurement system is also different in addition to the composition of the exercises it comprises, simply the principle of evaluation is the time in which the sum of the three activities are carried out; the athlete who performs them in the shortest time is the winner.

The record of athletics records is important since it allows the constant progress of the athletes, allowing to mark the goals to which the athlete aspires.

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