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Athletics (in the US also known as track and field or track and field athletics) is a collection of sport events, which can roughly be divided into running, throwing and jumping.

Athletic events are usually organised around a 400 m running track, on which most of the running events take place. All of the field events, jumping and throwing, take place in the field in the centre of the running track.

Many athletic events have an ancient origin and were already conducted in competitive form by the ancient Greeks. Athletics was included in the Olympic Games in 1896 and has been part of the program ever since. An international governing body, the IAAF was founded in 1912. The IAAF established separate outdoor World Championships in 1983. The AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) was the governing body in the United States until it collapsed under pressure from advancing professionalism in the late 1970's. A new governing body called The Athletics Congress (TAC) was formed, it was later renamed USA Track and Field (USATF or USA T&F). An additional, less structured organization, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) also exists in the USA to promote road racing. Both organizations allow athletes to receive money for racing putting an end to the "shamateurism" that existed before.


This is not an exhaustive list of events. There are many variations not listed. For example, running events have many variations: races of unusual length (e.g. 300m) or using imperial measures.

Men and women do not compete against each other and often times their events differ.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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