Various athletics events at the Olympic Games: sprinting, javelin, pole vault and high jump Athletics is a collection of running, walking, jumping and throwing contests requiring a mix of strength, speed, endurance and agility. Athletics can be divided into track events, which take place on a running track; field events, held on the space inside the track; and other events that take place on roads outside the sports stadium. Track events are held on an oval track that has a diameter of 400 metres on the innermost of eight lanes. The track events fall into several groups: sprints, middle distance, long distance, hurdling and relays.
A painting of a discus thrower on an ancient Greek cup, c.510–500 BCAthletics events are pictured on ancient Egyptian tombs from about 2250 BC. At the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece in 776 BC, the only event was a 192-metre sprint. Modern athletics has its roots in 19th-century contests organized by schools and colleges, military organizations and sports clubs. The first track and field championships were held at the New York Athletic Club in 1876. The first modern Olympics took place 20 years later, and, together with the World Athletic Championships, which is held every two years, it is the most important international athletics competition.
Jamaican runner Usain Bolt holds the 100-metre record with a time of 9.58 seconds. That's an average speed of 37.58 km/h (23.35 mph).
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