What is athletics?

We explain what athletics is and what are the disciplines covered by this famous sport. In addition, what the Olympic Games consist of.

  1. What is athletics?

The word athletics comes from the Greek word atletes  and has the meaning of every 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 sports events based on races, jumps and throws.

Athletics 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 our body’s needs.

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

The main current tests are:

  • Races  (of different meters in duration),
  • Marathons that are measured according to the kilometers of the route,
  • March ,
  • Jumps (in height, length and triple jump),
  • Releases (weight, hammer, disc and javelin),
  • Decathlon and pentathlon , tests that combine different activities.
  1. Professional Athletics Disciplines

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

The tests contained in a professional athletics competition are:

  • Speed ​​races: They are one of the best known tests in athletics and have been found in every athletic 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 .
  • Bottom Races: Bottom  races are tests that consist of a distance of more than 3000 meters of space. A distance runner must have well – developed capabilities that allow you to have resistance physical, fatigue strength and resistance to pain.
  • Medium distance  races : These races receive this name since the distance to be traveled is at the intermediate point between the speed races and the fondistas. They consist of the route of a space with a distance of between 800 meters and 3000 meters.
  • Road or street races:  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 athletic stadium. Instead, its route is specified in routes, roads or streets of a town or city .
  • Cross country races:  Although it is not currently a test that is in the Olympic Games, it was in previous editions. It consists of the route of a distance within a natural circuit without urban features. There are individual or team modalities.
  • Jump of fences:  This test is attributed to the British and consists of the jump of fences within a certain distance.
  • Race backwards:  While it is not considered an Olympic sport, the practice of running in the opposite direction lately is exercised by many athletes.
  • Pole Vault:  Also known as pole vaulting, it is a sport that involves passing a horizontal bar through the use of a pole and the momentum gained after traveling a distance of 30 meters.
  • Long jump:  This discipline aims to achieve the maximum distance after a jump over a horizontal space, through the impulse achieved by a certain route.
  • Throwing of weight:  It consists in the throwing of a ball by a competitor in order to achieve a maximum distance.
  • Launching of the disc:  It consists of the launching of an object with a circular shape and a pronounced weight towards a maximum distance.
  • Javelin throwing:  It is based on the throwing of a javelin made with authorized material as far as possible.
  1. Olympic Games

Athletics is directly related to the establishment of the Olympic games, which constitute the largest sporting event worldwide , which brings together the most prominent athletes from around the world and takes place every four years in a city that does the times host games.

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

The marathon is the legendary athletic event , and it 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 a discipline that combines ten tests (four races, three jumps and three pitches), although it is played in two consecutive days, it requires the athlete to develop at the same time resistance, strength, power and speed skills , it is understood With this, it is the most complete and toughest athletic discipline in terms of its level of demand. There is heptathlon, which is the equivalent of decathlon, but composed 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 between the athletes is formed.

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

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

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