Track and field
Sport involving running, jumping, and throwing disciplines / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Track and field is a sport that includes athletic contests based on running, jumping, and throwing skills. The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track and a grass field for the throwing and some of the jumping events. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running and racewalking.
The foot racing events, which include sprints, middle- and long-distance events, racewalking, and hurdling, are won by the athlete who completes it in the least time. The jumping and throwing events are won by those who achieve the greatest distance or height. Regular jumping events include long jump, triple jump, high jump, and pole vault, while the most common throwing events are shot put, javelin, discus, and hammer. There are also "combined events" or "multi events", such as the pentathlon consisting of five events, heptathlon consisting of seven events, and decathlon consisting of ten events. In these, athletes participate in a combination of track and field events. Most track and field events are individual sports with a single victor; the most prominent team events are relay races, which typically feature teams of four. Events are almost exclusively divided by gender, although both the men's and women's competitions are usually held at the same venue. Recently, “mixed” relay events have been introduced into meets, whereby two men and two women make up the four-person team. If a race has too many people to run all at once, preliminary heats will be run to narrow down the field of participants.
Track and field is one of the oldest sports. In ancient times, it was an event held in conjunction with festivals and sports meets such as the Ancient Olympic Games in Greece. In modern times, the two most prestigious international track and field competitions are the athletics competition at the Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championships. World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), is the international governing body for the sport of athletics.
Records are kept of the best performances in specific events, at world, continental, and national levels, right down to a personal level. However, if athletes are deemed to have violated the event's rules or regulations, they are disqualified from the competition and their marks are erased.
In the United States, the term track and field may refer to other athletics events, such as cross country, the marathon, and road running, rather than strictly track-based events.