Every sports category has its favorites and athletics is not different. I’m going to break down the most common disciplines for you while giving a small shout-out to things like long-distance running. To be fair, this is mostly going to be just track and field disciplines. They are, after all, featured in the Olympics. Here they are.
The reason I’ve put 100m in the brackets is simple. It is the most popular event of this discipline. Before the event was switched to metric measurements, it was known as the 100-yard dash.
Usain Bolt changed the game for everyone else when he made it in 9.58 back in 2009.
The idea behind the sprints is to make your power explode and run as fast as you can in what is commonly the shortest distance for competitions. However, there are shorter sprints, like the 50m and 60m races.
Some races focus entirely on speed, while others take into account distance and endurance as well. The marathon is a race of 42.195 kilometres that honours the Greek soldier Pheidippides (I’m sure you’ve heard the story). While you would normally associate this discipline with the Olympics, as this is where it originated, the marathon has become so popular that there are over 800 events all over the world. The Yanks, for example, are particularly fond and proud of the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon.
Here is one of the oldest athletic disciplines in the world. In the modern version of the discipline, the athletes sprint for a short distance and then jump into the sandpit as far as they can. For the score to count, the athletes must land with both feet.
Interestingly enough, in ancient times, people would hold small weights in their hands that would help them jump further. There are other disciplines similar to this one, like the triple jump and the standing long jump.
There are a few throwing disciplines that we see most commonly on the telly.
Some of you may have raised your eyebrows at this one. Nothing to worry about. It is the discipline in which you throw a heavy ball with one arm by either gliding or spinning, as it were. You stand in a circle while doing this and the best distance wins. Many ancient civilizations, Greece included. Had a version of this sporting discipline. Among others, it was popular in Scotland and the Balkans.
Originally, in the Ancient Olympics, there were two javelin events: one for distance and the other for the target. The former is where modern sport comes from. The object of the javelin toss is to run a short distance and hurl the thing as far as possible.
Last, but not least, is the discus throw. Much like the javelin throw, it was a part of the Ancient Greek pentathlon. This is one of those disciplines where women have the men beat. At least, as far as the World record and the Olympic record are concerned.