Athletics: what it is and which disciplines it includes

Athletics: what it is and which disciplines it includes

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L'Athletics includes a number of disciplines which can be grouped into the following three macro categories: run, jump and throw.

Most of the athletics disciplines originate in ancient Greece. In the first edition of the Olympic Games, dating back to 1896, athletics was included among the disciplines practiced and has always been part of the Olympic program ever since.

Athletics: running

The ride provides well 14 different disciplines in Olympic track and field program, are almost all practiced on track with the exception of the marathon which takes place on the road.

There running in athletics he ranks in 4 sub-categories: sprint, hurdles, middle and cross-country skiing.

1) Athletics: sprint

Speed ​​races are certainly the most fascinating and popular ones in the athletics panorama. They include five disciplines: 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 400 m.

What these disciplines have in common is the type of departure that occurs through the use of starting block.

In athletics, sprint races consist of four phases: exit from the blocks, acceleration, maintenance of speed and deceleration phase.

Exiting the block is essential in sprint athletics competitions, especially on 100 and 200 meters.

The athlete must get out as quickly as possible by reacting to the shot of the referee.

For a good start from the blocks, I recommend placing the supports two steps on the left side and three on the right side, or vice versa.

In the acceleration phase, the athlete must reach his maximum speed, obviously at 400 m it will be less than 100 m otherwise you risk not being able to complete your race!

In this phase you will run in a rather sprawling way applying as much force as possible with your arms and legs, it is very important to stay low with the body for a 20/30 m.

During the speed maintenance phase you will have to run "light" maintaining the pace as long as possible.

Finally, you will find yourself facing the deceleration phase, which occurs in all types of athletics sprint runs and is caused by the increase in lactic acid, a substance generated by our body when the muscles are under stress.

2) Athletics: obstacles

In athletics the obstacle course includes the following disciplines: 110 hs (100 hs for women) and 400 hs.

In this specialty, the athlete must overcome the obstacles found during the course, this technical gesture is defined passage.

It is very important for the athlete not to interrupt the race during the passage. To achieve this goal, he will have to try not to jump too high while keeping the race as much as possible when he overcomes the obstacle.

In the 110 hs there are 10 obstacles on the course, each with a height of 1.067 m for the absolute category.

The first obstacle is 13.72m from the starting line while the next 9 are 9.14m away.

As seen above for the sprint athletics competitions even in 110 hs the start takes place with the block.

Each obstacle is passed following the three phases: attack, flight and landing.

At the start, athletes usually take 7/8 steps before passing the first obstacle, always trying to keep the torso low, it is important that the athlete learns to feel the first obstacle thanks to the rhythm.

In the women's 100 hs the obstacles are always 10 m high 0.840 m, the first obstacle is 13 m away while the next 9 are 8.5 m apart.

The 400 hs is the longest distance in the category in athletics, the obstacles are always 10 but placed more distant from each other.

The first obstacle is placed 45m away from the starting line while the next 9 are 35m apart.

The height of the obstacles is 0.762 m for women and 0.914 m for men.

As for the 400 floors, in this case too the departure takes place from the block.

3) Athletics: middle distance

In athletics, middle distance competitions are divided into 3 different sub-categories: fast middle distance, pure middle distance and extended middle distance.

In the fast middle distance course the 800 and 1500 m races are included, in the pure middle distance the 3000 hedges and the 3000 m, finally in the extended middle distance there are the 5000 and 10000 m.

All these disciplines have in common the fact that they are carried out on the track.

Unlike sprint and obstacle track and field events, the athletes all run in the first lane.

The starting positions are the same as in the 400 m, we start two per lane and after 100 m all the athletes converge in the first lane.

4) Athletics: cross country

The marathon is a race with a totally aerobic energy contribution, covering a distance of 42,195 km and is by far the longest Olympic race in athletics.

The marathon is entirely road running and ends on the track, where the last 352 m are run.

Athletics: jumps

In athletics the jumping competitions are divided into two categories: jump in extension is jumps in elevation.

1) Athletics: jumps in extension

Extension jumps are long jump and triple jump competitions.

In the long jump the athlete takes a long run up to the batting board, where he jumps into the hole filled with sand.

The length of the jump is measured from the stop axis.

The long jump consists of 4 stages: run up, take off, fly, landing.

The run-up length is at the discretion of the athletes and varies between 30 and 45 meters.

During the take-off and flight phase it is important that you keep in mind to look for the upward elevation to make a jump that is as long as possible.

The landing phase is essential for this athletics discipline, the first part of the body that touches the ground are the heels and the torso must pass over the footprints left.

In this way you avoid losing precious centimeters by falling backwards.

According to the regulations, the jump is void when:

  • The athlete touches the ground located after the take-off line without jumping
  • The athlete jumps after the deadlift line
  • The athlete returns to the take-off line after performing the jump
  • The athlete performs a somersault

The triple jump is similar to the long jump with the difference that after the deadlift zone the athlete makes three consecutive jumps.

2) Athletics: jumps in elevation

The jumps in elevation are the high jump and the pole jump.

In the high jump the athlete after a short run must jump trying to overcome the bar placed before the mattress.

Initially the bar is placed at a modest height and the athlete chooses when to enter the race.

After three consecutive unsuccessful jumps, the athlete is eliminated, from when the athlete is called he has 60 seconds, when 2/3 remains in he has 90 seconds and when only 3 minutes remain.

The rod is made of plastic with a glass reinforcement but never metal.

Pole vaulting, on the other hand, is one of the most complex disciplines in athletics.

According to the regulations, the athlete can use rods of any length made of bamboo or fiberglass and can hold them at will.

After the detachment, it is not possible to climb the pole.

As for the high jump, the height of the pole gradually increases until there is only one athlete left in the competition, there are 3 jumps available.

The landing mattress is similar to that of the high jump, it is rectangular with measures 7 × 6 meters with a height of 80 cm.

Athletics: throws

In athletics the throwing competitions are divided into 4 types depending on the object being thrown: shot put, discus throw, javelin throw and hammer throw.

In the shot put the athlete has 3 qualifying jumps, the best 8 go to the final where they have a further 3 jumps available.

1) Shot of the weight

The launch pad must be constructed of asphalt or any non-slippery material, the internal diameter measures 2.135m.

The fall sector must be made of a material on which the weight thrown can leave a mark.

The fall sector is marked by white lines and has an angular opening of 34.92 °.

The weight can be of any material no lighter than brass, the shape is spherical and its surface is smooth.

For the absolute category men the weight is 7,260 kg while for women 4 kg.

2) Discus throw

Discus throwing is one of the oldest disciplines in athletics, its origins date back to ancient Greece.

Athletes have 3 qualifying jumps at their disposal, the first 8 go to the final, where they have another 3 jumps to improve.

The disc for women weighs 1k g with a diameter of about 180 mm and a thickness of about 38 mm, for men the disc weighs 2 kg with a diameter of about 220 mm and a thickness of about 45 mm.

The launch sector has an angular opening of 34 °.

3) Throwing the javelin

In the javelin throw the weight for women is 600 g while for men 800 g.

The athlete has 3 qualifying jumps to access the final which includes the best eight, in the final the athletes have another three jumps available.

The launch pad must be 30 to 36.5m long and 4m wide.

4) Throwing the hammer

The hammer consists of a spherical metal head, a steel cable and a handle.

The weight of the hammer for men is about 7.260 kg, the diameter of the head is 11 cm while the distance between the handle and the head is 120 cm.

The weight of the hammer for women is about 4 kg, the head diameter is 9.5 cm while the distance between the head and the handle is 116 cm.

That is all for the moment! I hope I have intrigued you with this article dedicated to athletics and ... see you on the track! ;-)

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