(Last Updated on : 08/01/2016)
Athletic events are considered to be one of the earliest sporting events in India, their inception dating back to the Vedic era
. Indians have practised and rigorously engaged in different athletic events since the distant past, also as part of physical exercise regimen.
Indian athletic events include the athletic forms of track
, road running and race walking.
Track and Field Athletic Events in India
The track and field branch of athletics in India covers all its three departments of skill - running, jumping and throwing. The name is indicative of the typical venue where track and field contests are held, that is, a stadium with an oval running track enclosing a grass field for throwing and jumping events.
The running events are contested in India in the form of sprints
(short distance races), middle distance races
, long distance races
, relay races
The sprints for men and women include:
The middle distance races for men and women include:
The long distance races for men and women include:
The relay races for men and women include:
4 X 100 metres relay
4 X 400 metres relay
The hurdling events are:
100 metres for women
110 meters for men
400 metres for men and women
3000 metres steeplechase for men and women
Hurdles feature athletes competing with each other in running, encountering and crossing obstacles along the track. Relay is a form of race where more than four sprinters run as a team for a given distance each, holding a baton throughout their lap and passing the same to the next runner for the subsequent lap. The winner is the entire team covering the whole stretch of four laps the fastest. The steeplechase is a form of horse racing, where the athlete needs to jump and cross over fences, trenches and other types of obstacles.
are field events for both men and women comprising:
in Athletics showcases an athlete making a jump from a point to a particular distance. The longest distance jumped over by an athlete determines the winner.
requires the athlete to jump high in the air and cross over a bar set at a certain height. The athlete who makes the highest jump ascertained by the set bar is the winner.
is again where the athlete needs to jump high over a bar. The only difference here is that the athlete takes help of a long and flexible pole to jolt him up high.
is similar to Long Jump. The athlete only has to jump distances three times at one go.
for men and women include the four major disciplines of throwing sports. These are:
is an event requiring arm strength. Here, an athlete is to throw a heavy metal ball from within a circular area. The winner is the one whose throw is the farthest.
displays an athlete throwing a lens-shaped heavy disc to a distance, from a 2.5 metre squared throwing area. The discus is usually made of rubber, plastic, wood or metal with a metal rim and a metal core giving the weight. The discs diameter is 22 centimetres and the weight is standardised to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).
is a popular event in athletics, wherein the athlete throws a javelin, a light spear with a blunt pointed end, and the farthest point is the winning throw. The current specifications of the javelin are 2.2 to 2.3 metres long and 600 grams heavy for women, while 2.6 to 2.7 metres and 800 grams for men.
showcases an athlete throwing off a heavy metal ball that is attached with a wire to a handle. The circular area from where the thrower has to throw the ball has been reduced from 90 to 34.92 degrees. The weight of the metal ball is 7.26 kilograms (16 pounds) and the length of attached wire ranges from 1.175 to 1.215 metres. Hammer throws require large, strong and sturdy athletes with speed and flexibility skills. The technique of the throw needs to be refined to cover the farthest distance, with three to four controlled pre throw rotations holding the handle.
The Decathlon and Heptathlon are combinations of track and field events. In India, the Heptathlon is a combined athletic event
for women. The term is a concoction of the Greek words hepta meaning seven and athlos meaning contest. The name signifies it as a combined event of seven different events. The women heptathlon encompasses the 100 metres hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres sprint, long jump, javelin throw and 800 metres race.
The combined athletic event for men is the Decathlon. It is an extended version of the Heptathlon with ten events instead of seven. The ten events are 100 metres sprint, 110 metres hurdles, 400 and 1500 metres sprints, discus throw, javelin throw, high jump, long jump, shot put and pole vault.
The winner in Heptathlon and Decathlon is determined according to the total points won in the entire series of seven and ten events respectively.
Road Running Athletic Events in India
Road Running is the sport of running along a measured course. Road running athletic events in India are marathon
, half marathon and 10 kilometres (10K) road race. A marathon is a long distance running event where the athletes run a distance of 26 miles. Half marathon, as the name suggests, covers a distance of 13 miles. In both these marathons, the runner who crosses the finishing line first is declared the winner. The 10K race is running competition over 10 kilometres distance. These 3 road running events are for both men and women in India, and 30, 35, 40 kilometres too for women.
Race Walking Athletic Events in India
Race Walking is a foot race, but different from running as one foot is always required to maintain contact with the ground. This means that while race walking, when a foot is raised while moving forward, the other supporting leg must stay straight until the raised leg passes it. For men, the race walking events in India include 20000 metres walk on track and 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 kilometres walk on road. For women, they comprise 10000 and 20000 metres walk on track and 10, 15 and 20 kilometres walk on road.
Athletic events in India are nowadays much more modernized and enjoy a larger platform through participation in the Olympics
and the Asian Games
. The apex body governing Athletics in India is the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), associated both with Asian Athletics Association, the continental governing body of Asia and the International Association of Athletics Federations, the global governing organisation. The AFI organises athletic events and competitions
in the country, solely or tying up with other units, clubs and organisations. It also maintains Indian records in all the athletic events contested in India and globally. Some of these events conducted in the country include the Asian Junior Athletic Championships, International Athletic Circuit Meet, Asian Athletic Grand Prix and the Commonwealth Games. The 2010 Commonwealth Games
was hosted by Delhi
in India. Events are also organised at the national level, like the National Games 2015 held in Kerala
The year 2015 was another successful year for the country in the field of athletics, in the run up to the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, with a number of athletes
clinching laurels and medals in various international events. The high point was 15 athletes qualifying for the Olympics, with the likes of Vikas Gowda
, the gentle giant and ace discus thrower. He is the reigning Commonwealth Games and Asian Games champion.