THE ATHLETICS PORTAL
Athletics is a group of sporting events that involves 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 common types of 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 held under the auspices of World Athletics, the global governing body for the sport of athletics, or its member continental and national federations.
The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The foremost international athletics meeting is the World Athletics Championships, which incorporates track and field, marathon running and race walking. Other top level competitions in athletics include the World Athletics Cross Country Championships and the 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 ? (athl?t?s, "combatant in public games") from (athlon, "prize") or (athlos, "competition"). Initially, the term described 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 prominent in the United Kingdom and the former British Empire. Related words in Germanic and Romance languages also have a similar meaning.
In much of North America, athletics is synonymous with sports in general, maintaining the historical 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 athletics events, including racewalking and marathon running (although cross country running is typically considered a separate sport).
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.
The New York City Marathon (branded ING New York City Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a major annual marathon (42.195 km or 26.219 mi) that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010. Along with the Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon, it is among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors. The race is organized by New York Road Runners (NYRR) and has been run every year since 1970. In recent years, it has been sponsored by the financial group ING. It is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional competitors and amateurs from all over the world. Because of the popularity of the race, participation is chosen largely by a lottery system. Runners who are members of NYRR can gain entry by meeting the qualifications for guaranteed entry or via nomination from an official running club.
Abebe Bikila ( ) (August 7, 1932 – October 25, 1973) was a two-time Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia. A stadium in Addis Ababa is named in his honor. Bikila was added to the Ethiopian Olympic team only at the last moment, as the plane to Rome was about to leave, as a replacement for Wami Biratu, who had broken his ankle in a soccer match. Major Onni Niskanen entered Bikila and Abebe Wakgira in the marathon. Adidas, the shoe sponsor at the 1960 Summer Olympics, had few shoes left when Bikila went to try out shoes and he ended up with a pair that didn't fit comfortably, so he couldn't use them. A couple of hours before the race, Bikila decided to run barefoot, the way he'd trained for the race. Bikila was warned by Niskanen about his main rivals, one of whom was Rhadi Ben Abdesselam from Morocco, who was supposed to wear number 26. For unknown reasons, Rhadi did not acquire his black marathon bib before the race, and instead was wearing his regularly assigned track and field bib number 185. The late afternoon race had its start point and finish at the Arch of Constantine, just outside the Colosseum. During the race Bikila passed numerous runners as he searched for Rhadi's number 26. By about 20 km, Bikila and Rhadi (actually wearing number 185) had created a gap from the rest of the pack. Bikila kept looking forward to find the runner with number 26, unaware that Rhadi was running right beside him. They stayed together until the last 500 m, when Bikila sprinted to the finish line. Bikila won in a record time of 2:15:16.2, becoming the first Sub-Saharan African to win an Olympic gold medal. He finished 25 seconds ahead of Rhadi.
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