History of Track and Field

By | January 11, 2017

The history of track and field event was started way back in 776 BC. The first foot race was held at the first Olympic festival in ancient Greece. The walking, running, and throwing things is a natural process in man from his birth. This process gave birth to track and field events. Many individuals started to compete with each other and the events became more popular as the days progressed. The events began to develop and many new track events were included in the process. Well, let us have a look at the history of track and field event.

The ancient track event included the stade race, which is called sprint in modern event. The contestants ran from one end of the track to the other. The distance covered was roughly 200 meters, which later gave birth to 200-meter sprint. The 400-meter sprint was inspired from two stade races and the long distance run was the result of 724 stade races. The ancient field events such as long jump, javelin, short put, etc had a similar look as in modern days. The history of track and field in modern Olympics started in 1896.

Now, let us look at the history of track and field event such as jumping and pole vault. The jumping events came from the past and the pole vault was developed in Netherlands where people used poles to jump over natural hurdles such as canals, streams, and marshlands. The jumping events such as long jump, high jump, triple jump, and pole vault were all included in first modern Olympics in 1896. The women participants had to wait until 1928 and women’s high jump was first introduced in 1928 Olympics and soon followed by long jump in 1948. The triple jump for women was introduced in 1996 and pole vault in the next Olympics in 2000.

In the past, the pentathlon included the five major events while the modern Olympics in 1912 included the decathlon, which is supposed to consist of 10 track and field events. The pentathlon for women was included in 1964 and was again replaced by heptathlon (7 track and field event). The marathon event has its own history in Olympics. The marathon was inspired from a legend that ran 26 miles from the plains of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC. The first official Marathon in the history of track and field event was introduced in 1896 Olympics. The 5000 and 10,000 meter was added in 1912 and 3000 steeplechase meter was added in 1920. The 800 meter was the minimum distance for women in 1928 and the maximum 5000 meter was added in 1996 Olympics.

The history of track and field mainly revolves around the Olympic Games. Also, there are many international events such as Common Wealth Games, Asian Games, etc that includes the different track and field events. The track and field events in the United States are reported to be started way back in 1860. As the time progressed, many new events were added and the formation of IAAF in 1913 created history in track and field events. Soon, the women were allowed to participate in the track events. It was only after 1913 track and field events were treated as a professional sport.

Source by Candis Reade

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