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Track and field

Track and field, athletic sports including running, walking, hurdling, jumping for distance or height, and throwing various objects. The revival of the Olympic Games in 1896 gave international and national competition an enormous boost, and in 1912 the International Amateur Athletes Federation was set up.

Track events

Distances raced vary from the 50-m sprint to the 5,0000-m run. Hurdlers and steeplechasers have to clear a set number of obstacles. In relay races a baton is passed from one runner to the next.

Field events

In high jump and pole vault the contestant who clears the greatest height with the least number of attempts wins. A long jump running or triple jump (hop, step and jump) competitor is permitted six jumps. Throwing events also permit six throws. The javelin is a spear thrown by running up to a line and releasing. The shot, a solid iron ball, is “put” from the shoulder. The discus is a circular plate released with a sweeping sidearm action. The hammer throw consists of throwing an iron ball attached to a handle by a wire. All-around events include the 10-event decathlon and the 5-event pentathlon.

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