Track and field athletics

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Track and field (also known as track and field sports and track and field athletics) is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area. The throwing and jumping events generally take place within the central enclosed area.

Track and field is one of the sports which (along with road running, cross-country running and race walking) makes up the umbrella sport of athletics. It is under the banner of athletics that the two most prestigious international track field competitions are held: the athletics competition at the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The International Association of Athletics Federations is the international governing body for track and field.

Track and field events are generally individual sports with athletes challenging each other to decide a single victor. The racing events are won by the athlete with the fastest time, while the jumping and throwing events are won by the athlete who has achieved the greatest distance or height in the contest. The running events are categorised as sprints, middle and long-distance events, relays, and hurdling. Regular jumping events include long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault, while the most common throwing events are shot put, javelin, discus and hammer. There are also "combined events", such as heptathlon and decathlon, in which athletes compete in a number of the above events.

Records are kept of the best performances in specific events, at world and national levels, right down to a personal level. However, if athletes are deemed to have violated the event's rules or regulations, they are disqualified from the competition and their marks are erased. The athletes wear small clothes that make running easier, men wear shorts and a sleeve-less shirts while women wear swim-like suits that are up to the mid-thigh or to the buttocks.


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