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Sport
Athletics

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Rules
Events (etc.)
Multi–discipline events
The Marathon
The First Four–Minute Mile
Athletes

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Athletics

Rules

Shortest event at major indoor tournaments Click to show or hide the answer
One circuit of a modern (outdoor) running track Click to show or hide the answer
Colloquially known as 'the metric mile' Click to show or hide the answer
Longest event for which the IAAF recognises a world record Click to show or hide the answer
Maximum number of attempts that each competitor gets at each height, in both the high jump and pole vault Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Hurdles in a race (men's or women's, 110m or 400m) Click to show or hide the answer
Number of complete laps in the 3,000m steeplechase (each obstacle – 4 ordinary, 1 water jump – is jumped once per lap) Click to show or hide the answer
Weight of the men's shot and hammer Click to show or hide the answer
Weight of the women's shot and hammer Click to show or hide the answer
Maximum wind speed for a result to be registered as a record (in events such as 100m and 200m sprints, 110m and 220m hurdles, long jump and triple jump) Click to show or hide the answer

Events (etc.)

Annual event held in Oslo on 2 June, named after the stadium it's held in Click to show or hide the answer
Famous mile race run annually at the Bislett Games, Oslo (suspended 2004); Steve Ovett and Steve Cram both broke the world record in it Click to show or hide the answer
Men's record held by Jesse Owens 1935–60, Bob Beamon 1968–91, Mike Powell 1991–(2017) – all USA;
women's record held by Galina Chistyakova (USSR, Slovakia), 1988–(2017)
Click to show or hide the answer
Kate Staples (better known as gladiator Zodiac): UK & Commonwealth women's champion at Click to show or hide the answer
Planting box: used in Click to show or hide the answer
The "glide" or "shift" (introduced in 1951 by the US athlete Parry O'Brien) and the "spin" (introduced in 1972 by the Soviet athlete Aleksandr Baryshnikov) are the two alternative techniques used in Click to show or hide the answer

Multi–discipline events

Decathlon

There are four Track events and six Field events. Each day starts and ends with a Track event, with three Field events in between.

Day 1 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
Day 2 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

(Women's) heptathlon

Women's equivalent of the men's Decathlon (multi–disciplined event contested over two days) Click to show or hide the answer
The two events that were added to the pentathlon to make the heptathlon (for the 1984 Olympics) Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer

There are three Track events and four Field events. There are four events on Day 1 and three on Day 2.

Day 1 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
Day 2 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

(Note: men contest an indoor heptathlon.)

The Marathon

Marathon distance Click to show or hide the answer
Marathon distance in metres Click to show or hide the answer
Marathon distance in the 1896 (and 1904) Olympics Click to show or hide the answer

The distance of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km) was first used at the 1908 Olympic games, but contrary to popular belief the British royal family had very little influence.

The race was organised by the Polytechnic Harriers (the athletics club of the Regent Street Polytechnic – now the University of Westminster) and the distance was originally intended to be 25 miles (just over 40 km), from Windsor Castle to White City. The start was moved to a private part of the castle, so that the public would not interfere (not at the request of Princess Alexandra); the route was changed slightly, to cross Wormwood Scrubs, in order to avoid cobbles and tram lines; and the route into the stadium was changed because the originally planned entrance was found to be unsuitable (not at the insistence of Edward VII). The race caught the public imagination, and was described by one American journalist as "the race of the century", after Italy's Dorando Pietri finished first but was disqualified for receiving assistance as he staggered the last few yards around the stadium. Following this success, the Sporting Life newspaper asked the Poly Harriers to organise an annual race and offered a magnificent trophy. The famous Polytechnic Marathon ("the Poly") was staged annually from 1909 (until 1996); it used the same course (and hence the same distance) as the 1908 Olympic race.

The 1912 and 1920 Olympics used different distances, but in 1921 the IAAF agreed to standardise on the 1908 distance – again, the huge popular success of that race was a major factor.

The London Marathon

Tied for first place in the men's race, in the inaugural London Marathon (1981) USA Click to show or hide the answer
Norway Click to show or hide the answer

Beardsley and Simonsen tied deliberately, holding hands as they crossed the finish line.

English winner of the women's race, in the first two London Marathons (1981 and 1982) Click to show or hide the answer
First British winner of the men's race in the London Marathon (1982) Click to show or hide the answer
Norwegian runner: the only four–time winner of the London Marathon (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988); three men and two other women have won it three times Click to show or hide the answer

Sponsors of the London Marathon

1981–3 Click to show or hide the answer
1984–8 Click to show or hide the answer
1985–92 Click to show or hide the answer
1993–5 Click to show or hide the answer
1996–2009 Click to show or hide the answer
Since 2010 (contracted until 2017) Click to show or hide the answer

The First Four–Minute Mile

Roger Bannister ran the first sub–four–minute mile at Track Click to show or hide the answer
City Click to show or hide the answer
Date Click to show or hide the answer
Roger Bannister's time for the first sub–four–minute mile Click to show or hide the answer
The number on his vest Click to show or hide the answer
Bannister's two 'pacemakers' Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer

Athletes

Moroccan runner who dominated middle distance running (500m to 5000m) between 1983 and 1990 – winning 115 of his 119 races Click to show or hide the answer
Ethiopian athlete, Olympic marathon winner 1960 and 1964; left hemiplegic following a road accident in 1969, died 1973 aged 51. Award named in his honour by the New York Road Runners first awarded 1978, won in 2006 by Paula Radcliffe Click to show or hide the answer
Jamaican sprinter who had the joint second fastest time for the 100m, along with Tyson Gay, during the Usain Bolt era Click to show or hide the answer
Broke Jesse Owens's world long jump record, set in 1935, in 1960, and five more times by 1965 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Ukrainian pole vaulter: won gold at every World Athletics Championships, 1983–97, but only one Olympic medal (Seoul, 1988); raised the world record from 5.85m to 6.14m, 1984–94; retired in 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
Jamaican sprinter: disqualified from the 2008 Olympics in 2017 after failing a retrospective drug test, causing Usain Bolt to lose one of his nine gold medals Click to show or hide the answer
First European to run 100m in under 10 seconds (1988; see Jim Hines, Carl Lewis) Click to show or hide the answer
Australian runner: held eleven world records, including six simultaneously (1965), but never won Olympic gold Click to show or hide the answer
First to run the 1500m in less than 3.5 minutes Click to show or hide the answer
British athlete: broke the world triple jump record three times in 1995 (record still stood 2015) Click to show or hide the answer
Moroccan athlete, described as the greatest of all time: set world records in the 1500m, 2,000m and mile, 1998–9 – all of which still stood in 2017; also won Olympic gold in the 1500m and 5,000m at Athens (2004); retired in 2006 Click to show or hide the answer
US sprinter: banned for two years in 2002 after testing positive for a banned substance (reduced on appeal to one year), and for four years in 2006 for the same reason; Olympic 100m champion in 2004, and thus the last to win the title before Usain Bolt; also won bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016; world champion in 100m and 200m in 2005 Click to show or hide the answer
First Indigenous Australian to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal (Auckland 1990), and the first to win an individual Olympic gold (Sydney 2000) Click to show or hide the answer
US sprinter: ran the 100m in 9.69 seconds in 2009, making him the world's second fastest man (behind Usain Bolt); banned for 12 months, and stripped of his 2012 Olympic silver medal, in 2013 after testing positive for a banned substance; was a member of the US 4 x 100m team that finished 3rd at Rio in 2016, but was denied a medal because of a violation by Justin Gatlin Click to show or hide the answer
US athlete: set world records for the women's 100m and 200m, in 1988, which still stand (2017) Click to show or hide the answer
First to run 100m in less than 10 seconds (9.95 – 20 June 1968, at altitude) Click to show or hide the answer
German decathlete, famous for his rivalry with Daley Thompson in the 1980s Click to show or hide the answer
British runner who broke John Landy's record for the mile, in 1957 Click to show or hide the answer
US runner: held both the 200m and 400m world records, 1999–2008 (the 200m record was broken by Usain Bolt; the 400m record still stands, as of 2016) Click to show or hide the answer
Kenyan–born athlete, representing Denmark; broke Seb Coe's 800m world record, set in 1981, in 1997 – stood until 2010 Click to show or hide the answer
Australian athlete, second to run a four–minute mile – broke Roger Bannister's record, 46 days after the first Click to show or hide the answer
First woman to run a mile in under five minutes (1954 – 23 days after Bannister's first sub–4–minute mile) – born Streetly, near Walsall, Staffordshire Click to show or hide the answer
French sprinter: the first Caucasian man to run 100m in under 10 seconds (2010; see Jim Hines, Carl Lewis) Click to show or hide the answer
First to run 100m in under 10 seconds, at low altitude (1983) Click to show or hide the answer
British runner, broke the men's 5,000m world record by 5 seconds in 1982; the last non–African runner to hold it (broken by Saïd Aouita of Morocco, in 1985); Chief Executive of UK Athletics, 1997–2007 Click to show or hide the answer
American hurdler, won 122 consecutive 400m races, 1977–87 Click to show or hide the answer
One of the original 'Flying Finns' – won 9 Olympic gold medals: 3 at Antwerp in 1920, 5 at Paris in 1924, 1 at Amsterdam in 1928 Click to show or hide the answer
Jamaican sprinter (b. 1960), won 9 Olympic medals (3 silver, 6 bronze – 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), 1980–2000. Also represented Slovenia at the 2004 Olympics, breaking the record of 6 Olympiads set by Tessa Sanderson et al Click to show or hide the answer
Broke five world records, and equalled a sixth, all in one hour – 25 May 1935; the long jump record wasn't beaten until 1960 (see Ralph Boston) Click to show or hide the answer
Lynn Davies's coach when he won the 1964 Olympic Long Jump gold Click to show or hide the answer
Broke Bob Beamon's world long jump record of 8.90 m (29 ft 2½ in), set at altitude in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, in 1991 with 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in) – a record that still stands (in 2015) Click to show or hide the answer
Set a women's world record for the marathon, in the London Marathon of 2003; set a slightly slower world record time for a women–only marathon, in the same race in 2005; both records still stood in 2017 Click to show or hide the answer
The first male athlete, in any event, to hold the World, Olympic and Commonwealth Games records at the same time Click to show or hide the answer
Czech javelin thrower: Olympic champion 1992, 1996 and 2000; as of 2017, still had the four longest javelin throws, all made between 1993 and 1997, including the world record of 98.48 m (set in Jena in 1996) Click to show or hide the answer

British champions simultaneously at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European levels:

1983–7, men's decathlon: Olympic champion 1980 and 1984, European champion 1982 and 1986, Commonwealth champion 1978, 1982 and 1986, World Champion 1983 (men's decathlon) Click to show or hide the answer
1993–6, men's 100m: European champion 1986, 1990 and 1994, Commonwealth champion 1990 and 1994, Olympic champion 1992, World Champion 1993 (men's 100m) Click to show or hide the answer
1994–6, women's 400m hurdles: Commonwealth champion 1990 and 1994, Olympic champion 1992, World Champion 1993, European champion 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
2002, men's triple jump: European champion 1998, Olympic champion 2000, World Champion 2001, Commonwealth champion 2002 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
2015–6, men's long jump: Olympic champion 2012, European champion 2014 and 2016, Commonwealth champion 2014, World Champion 2015 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017