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A new world

Athletics

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Running, jumping and throwing. One of the most traditional Olympic sports, athletics has been part of the Games since Athens 1896, the first of the modern era. Today, no other sport offers more medals: 141, 47 of which are gold.
Spectator's Guide - Athletics
  • Athletics

Countries

Athletes

Events

200 2363 47

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Athletics

Select the time zone:
Rio Time
My time zone
August21
Date Event Venue Status
Sun 2109:30 Men's Marathon
KEN
KIPCHOGE Eliud
ETH
LILESA Feyisa
USA
RUPP Galen
Sambódromo Finished
  • WRWorld Record
  • OROlympic Record

About

About

Aim of the game

Across the different events the aim is always the same: to outperform your opponents, whether in running, jumping or throwing

Why should you watch this?

Some of the greatest athletes of all time, such as Usain Bolt, will strive to achieve unprecedented feats amid a carnival of sporting challenges that encompass the Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger

International Federation

Olympic debut

Athens 1896

Rules
  • Fosbury flop

    Fosbury flop

    A high jump style developed by Dick Fosbury in the 1960s that sees athletes jump backwards over the bar – before this most jumpers used the ‘straddle’ technique

  • False start

    False start

    Starting an individual race before the starting pistol is fired, invalidating the start and resulting in disqualification

  • Back straight

    Back straight

    The 100m stretch on the opposite side of the track to the ‘home straight’ (which leads to the finish line), this is the area where middle and long-distance runners often mount attacks

Impress your friends

  • Athletics, also known as ‘track and field’ in the USA and Canada, was opened up to women at the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games

    Athletics, also known as ‘track and field’ in the USA and Canada, was opened up to women at the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games

  • On the first Olympic Games at 776 BC, Coroebus of Elis won the running race (known as The Stadion) 192m of distance, to become the first ever Olympic champion

    On the first Olympic Games at 776 BC, Coroebus of Elis won the running race (known as The Stadion) 192m of distance, to become the first ever Olympic champion

  • The first recorded athletics competitions were in European countries, such as Greece, Ireland and Scotland

    The first recorded athletics competitions were in European countries, such as Greece, Ireland and Scotland

  • Brazil’s Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal, after winning bronze in the Athens 2004 marathon despite being grabbed by a spectator while leading

    Brazil’s Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal, after winning bronze in the Athens 2004 marathon despite being grabbed by a spectator while leading

  • At the London 2012 Games, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles

    At the London 2012 Games, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles

  • Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, running barefoot, won the marathon at the Rome 1960 Games and became the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal

    Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, running barefoot, won the marathon at the Rome 1960 Games and became the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal

  • The USA’s Bob Beamon broke the Olympic long jump record at the Mexico City 1968 Games with 8.90m – it was so long that the measuring device could not extend far enough to record it

    The USA’s Bob Beamon broke the Olympic long jump record at the Mexico City 1968 Games with 8.90m – it was so long that the measuring device could not extend far enough to record it

  • Beamon’s mark was eventually broken in 1991, when compatriot Mike Powell set the current record of 8.95m during an epic contest with Carl Lewis

    Beamon’s mark was eventually broken in 1991, when compatriot Mike Powell set the current record of 8.95m during an epic contest with Carl Lewis

  • Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi is the most decorated Olympic track and field athlete, with 9 gold and 3 silver medals

    Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi is the most decorated Olympic track and field athlete, with 9 gold and 3 silver medals

  • One of the first athletics events in ancient times was the race in armour

    One of the first athletics events in ancient times was the race in armour

  • When there is no measurable time difference between the first runners over the line, the winner is decided by a ‘photo finish’, using the image from a camera set up on the finish line

    When there is no measurable time difference between the first runners over the line, the winner is decided by a ‘photo finish’, using the image from a camera set up on the finish line

  • More medals are awarded for athletics than any other Olympic sport – a total of 141, including 47 golds

    More medals are awarded for athletics than any other Olympic sport – a total of 141, including 47 golds

  • The marathon is named after the 26-mile run by a Greek soldier called Pheidippides, from a battle to Athens, where he announced the defeat of the invading Persians, then died

    The marathon is named after the 26-mile run by a Greek soldier called Pheidippides, from a battle to Athens, where he announced the defeat of the invading Persians, then died

Flat races

Athletes race over distances of 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 10000m. The two relay events (4x100m and 4x400m) are contested by teams of four athletes, each of whom runs one quarter of the total distance, passing a baton to their team-mate within a restricted area.

Obstacle races

Runners must jump over 10 evenly placed barriers (hurdles) that are 1.07m high for men and 0.84m for women in the 100m and 110m races, and 0.914m high for men and 0.762m for women in the 400m – bumping into or knocking over a hurdle does not result in a penalty, although it does slow down the athlete in steeplechase, athletes race over 3000m, jumping obstacles 0.91m high for men and 0.76m for women, some of which land into water pits that are 0.70m deep.

Height jumps

High jump - athletes must jump as high as possible over a horizontal bar, landing in a cushioned area. Each athlete has three attempts at each height – three consecutive failures (toppling the bar) result in elimination.

Pole vault - athletes must jump as high as possible over a horizontal bar. After a run-up, they jam a flexible fibreglass pole into a metal box at the base to take off, landing in a cushioned area. Each athlete has three attempts at each height – three consecutive failures (toppling the bar) result in elimination.

Distance jumps

Long jump - each athlete has three attempts to jump as far as possible. They build up speed on a runway around 40m long and jump into a sand pit.

Triple jump - each athlete has three attempts to jump as far as possible. They build up speed on a runway around 40m long. The take-off foot absorbs the first landing (the hop), the next phase (the step) lands on the opposite foot and the final part (the jump) finishes in the sandpit. The distance measured is from the edge of the board to the final landing.

Throwing events

Shot put - each athlete has three attempts to throw a round metal weight (shot) weighting 4kg (women) or 7.2kg (men).

Discus throw - athlete has three attempts at throwing a disc weighing 1kg (women) or 2kg (men).

Javelin throw - each athlete has three attempts to throw a metal-tipped javelin weighing 600g (women) or 800g (men).

Hammer throw - each athlete has three attempts to throw an iron ball weighing 4kg (women) or (7.2kg) men fixed to a steel cable (1.2m long).

Road events

At 42.195km, the marathon is the longest running event, traditionally taking athletes around the city. In walk, athletes race over 20km (man and women) or 50km (men) in short, rapid steps, ensuring that one foot is always in contact with the ground and keeping the extended leg straight from the moment the foot touches the ground until the other foot has moved ahead of it.

Combined events

Heptathlon and decathlon comprise a series of events over two consecutive days. The women’s heptathlon includes the 100m hurdles, 200m, 800m, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin throw. The men’s decathlon combines the 100m, 400m, 1500m, 110m hurdles, long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus and javelin.

Updates

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 48
Men 52
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 9
21 - 25 38
26 - 30 34
31 - 40 18
Over 40 1
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