Portal:Athletics

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THE ATHLETICS PORTAL

Athletics stadium

Athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking.

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 commonly competed 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 conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations and its member federations.

The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Athletes with a physical disability compete at the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Athletics Championships.

The word athletics is derived from the Ancient Greek ἀθλητής (athlētēs, "combatant in public games") from ἆθλον (athlon, "prize") or ἆθλος (athlos, "competition"). Initially, the term was used to describe athletic contests in general – i.e. sporting competition based primarily on human physical feats. In the 19th century, the term athletics acquired a more narrow definition in Europe and came to describe sports involving competitive running, walking, jumping and throwing. This definition continues to be the most prominent one in the United Kingdom and most of the areas of the former British Empire. Furthermore, foreign words in many Germanic and Romance languages which are related to the term athletics also have a similar meaning.

In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining a more historic usage of the term. The word "athletics" is rarely used to refer to the sport of athletics in this region. Track and field is preferred, and is used in the United States and Canada to refer to most athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running (although cross country running is typically considered as a separate sport).

Track and Field.svg More about...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 Earth icon Fredrik.png Worldwide
World Championships 1983 World championships
World Indoor Championships 1985
European Championships 1934 Continental championships Europe (orthographic projection).svg Europe
European Indoor Championships 1966
South American Championships 1919 South America (orthographic projection).svg South America
Asian Championships 1973 Asia (orthographic projection).svg Asia
African Championships 1979 Africa (orthographic projection).svg Africa
Ocenian Championships 1990 Australia-New Guinea (orthographic projection).svg Oceania

Selected article

First Chicago Marathon, in 1905.

The Chicago Marathon is a major marathon held yearly in Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Alongside the Boston, New York, London and Berlin Marathons, it is one of the five World Marathon Majors. Thus, it is also an IAAF Gold Label race. The October 9, 2011 running was the 34th anniversary running of the race. The first race was held on September 25, 1977 under the original name the Mayor Daley Marathon, which drew a field of 4200 runners. The race has been held every year since, except in 1987 when only a half-marathon was run. The race has achieved its elite status among marathons by developing relationship with sponsors who provide prize money to lure elite runners who have produced American and world record performances. There is no qualifying time to participate in the Chicago Marathon, but only runners who finish within 6½ hours are officially timed. The race is limited to 45,000 runners on a first-come, first-served basis. Although the race has limited registration, exceptions include elite runners and charity representatives.

Archive Track and Field.svg More about...Chicago Marathon

Selected biography

Sara Simeoni 1970s.jpg

Sara Simeoni (born April 19, 1953) is an Italian former high jumper, who won a gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics and twice set a world record in the women's high jump.

Sara Simeoni was born in Rivoli Veronese, in the province of Verona. She soon took up athletics, specialising in the high jump. Her first international result was at the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki, where she ended 9th with a 178 cm jump. Her first international success was at the 1976 in Montreal, where she won a silver medal, with a personal best of 1.91 m, and was beaten only by Rosemarie Ackermann's 1.93 m leap.

In August 1978, she set the new world record with 2.01 m in Brescia (this jump stood as a national record until Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 in June 2007). Later in the same month she equalled it at Prague while winning the European title. In 1980, Simeoni set a new Olympic record of 1.97 m, when winning gold in Moscow.

Simeoni struggled to regain her form in the following years, with a series of tendon injuries. At 1984 Olympics, Simeoni carried the Italian flag at the opening ceremony in Los Angeles. Here, she cemented her reputation as one of the greatest female high jumpers ever, in a thrilling duel with German Ulrike Meyfarth. Simeoni managed to reach the 2 meters measure for the first time since 1978. The ageing Meyfarth, however, replied with a notable 2.02 m jump, and Simeoni won a silver medal.

Archive Track and Field.svg More about...Sara Simeoni

World records

As of 19 October 2014
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 China Qu Yunxia 3:50.46
3000 m Kenya Daniel Komen 7:20.67 China Wang Junxia 8:06.11
5000 m Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele 12:37.35 Ethiopia Tirunesh Dibaba 14:11.15
10000 m Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele 26:17.53 China Wang Junxia 29:31.78
Marathon Kenya Dennis Kipruto Kimetto *2:02:57 United Kingdom Paula Radcliffe 2:15:25
3000 m steeplechase Qatar Saif Saaeed Shaheen 7:53.63 Russia Gulnara Samitova-Galkina 8:58.81
110 / 100 m hurdles United States Aries Merritt 12.80 Bulgaria Jordanka Donkova 12.21
400 m hurdles United States Kevin Young 46.78 Russia Yuliya Pechonkina 52.34
High jump Cuba Javier Sotomayor 2.45 m Bulgaria Stefka Kostadinova 2.09 m
Pole vault France Renaud Lavillenie 6.16 m Russia Elena Isinbaeva 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 Ukraine Inessa Kravets 15.50 m
Shot put United States Randy Barnes 23.12 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 *79.58 m
Javelin throw Czech Republic Jan Železný 98.48 m Czech Republic Barbora Špotáková 72.28 m
Decathlon/Heptathlon United States Ashton Eaton 9,039 pt. United States Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7,291 pt.
20 km racewalk Russia Vladimir Kanaykin 1:17:16 Russia Elena Lashmanova 1:25:02
50 km racewalk France Yohann Diniz 3:32:33
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

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