Updated: 25/07/2012 08:04 | By pa.press.net



Arguably the most high profile and popular of all the Olympic sports, the athletics programme promises to create many of the standout moments of London 2012.

The sport has been responsible for some of the most iconic achievements in Olympic history, and all eyes will be on the Olympic Stadium when the stars of track and field are in action.

The sport has a significant tradition within the setting of the Games. Running events of various lengths were first held as part of the ancient Olympics, with the javelin, discus and long jump, while not contested individually, also part of an early pentathlon in Greece.

Since the first Games of the modern era, at Athens 1896, close to 20,000 athletes have competed in athletics at the Olympics, helping the sport to become the cornerstone of the Games.

The 100 metres sprint is still considered to be the blue-riband showpiece of the entire Olympiad - despite only lasting around 10 seconds - but there is also plenty of other action that generates huge interest across the 10 days of the track and field programme.

In total, 47 gold medals are up for grabs, with 24 events for men and 23 for women. There is no 50km race walk for women, who also compete in the heptathlon rather than the decathlon, but otherwise the men's and women's events are the same.

The structure and skills required for each differs greatly, however, with competitors in the sprint events (100m, 200m and 400m) having to negotiate a number of heats, while the marathon and other long-distance running races are held as one-offs.

In the throwing events (discus, shot put, javelin and hammer) and the jumping events (long jump, high jump, triple jump and pole vault), athletes must come through a qualification round before going for glory in a final, where the best attempt is counted.

The combined events (decathlon for men and heptathlon for women) see athletes accrue points over a number of different disciplines, with the athlete who scores the most points overall taking gold.

Some of the last athletics events to be staged inside the Olympic Stadium are the relay races, which always make for an exciting finale.

The United States - considered to be the dominant force in the relays - have won over 700 athletics medals since 1896, while no other nation has yet reached 200.

31/07/2012 18:26
All I can say is good luck to all our British athletes, whether you are black, brown, white or green. Do your very best, as I know you all will. All the best to you all.
24/06/2012 13:27
anyone google frank clement 1976 hes my teachers dads cousin . he finished 5th in the 1500m in the finals
09/08/2012 23:54
Usain Bolt, Brilliant athlete and performer, Gt Character, well done on your wins.
10/08/2012 20:33

Don't you think that Brendan Foster should RETIRE, he has got to be the WORST Olympic commentator or ANY Athletics commentator in the UK, He talks rubbish (sometime I don’t think he is watching the same race as me)!

11/08/2012 19:54
Mo Farah Pride of Britain. Double Wammy on the Africans. Congrats to him.
i think our team are doing really well in all catigories and we have suceeded to win more medals then last year which proves that we get better with practise and the fact that we have it in our home country must help the athletes as home sickness must really put them down before a competition... but hey we're doing well keep it up! GO TEAM GB!!!!!!! :) :) :)
07/08/2012 19:04
Arhhhh, one of the jealous ones no doubt.
10/07/2012 14:22
"These Black athletes " If any athlete is good enough they should get a chance ! I don't care what colour they are . In 1936 Jessie Owens showed Hitler what an complete racist bigot he was . My only concern is athletes representing countries that they have no birth right too , these plastic Brits hamper the progress of hard working young British athletes .

 I watched the Michael Johnston program last week exploring links to black athletes success to slavery and have to say it provoked much conversation ,and  in my mind went along way to proving his point that the "evil" of slavery robed the world of many poor weaker souls leading to the survival of the fittest .
 Good luck to all competitors who have trained hard and fairly .

09/08/2012 15:36
Wish the media would stop going on and on about Usain Bolt.....He ran in a straight line...over a hundred metres....quickly. I'VE DONE THAT MILLIONS OF TIMES!!! Pissed too. Give it a rest ffs!
06/08/2012 00:13
Blacks are permanently demonised by white society until of course they're needed. There's the good the bad and the ugly in every race and we've just seen the beauty of the blacks. Don't just check out their speed, check out their skin, their teeth and their smiles. Who else is jealous?
02/08/2012 17:58
Dear everyone there is a new mobile phone to be launched and everyone is invited to come plus a job vacancy as well.
the address is 

Holiday Inn : London - Regent's Park
Carburton Street 
London, England
It will be held on Tuesday 7pm, 7th August pls be there.
and mention Mudassar hussain

04/07/2012 11:35
Well the way I see it is this, the only reason all these black athletes are now being given a chance to work for Team GB is because the british want them to win the gold medals for them. It is sooooo obvious the way the media is going black mad in promoting them all over the media. Once the olympics are over they will be dumped, if I were the black athletes I wouldn't let myself get used like this.
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