Athletic Events were an integral part of the sport competitions held in the classical days. Some of the competitions of those days were the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games and the Isthmian Games, which were all the Pan-Hellenic Games. There were also the Roman Games. Athletics was also the main event in the first Summer Games.
However, in the Roman Games, sports like chariot racing (pictured), wrestling and later on the gladiatorial combat commanded a greater fan following as compared to the athletics. The athletics were of course a part of combat training.
In Europe, various athletic events became popular from those early days. The sports became popular in Britain during the period between thirteenth and sixteenth century. Now there are many international events, where the track and field athletics is a major attraction. The field of international track and field athletics is governed by International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF.
Track And Field Events in Athletics: Track and field athletics is a collection of three sports disciplines. These disciplines are running, throwing and jumping. The origin of the name, “athletics” is the Greek word, “athlon”. In Greek, the meaning of “athlon” is “contest". In some languages, track and field athletics are referred to as “light athletics” to differentiate them from the “heavy athletics”. The sport events included in the “heavy athletics” are weight lifting and wrestling. The track and field athletics is more of a direct manifestation of the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, which means “faster, higher, stronger”.
In the present time, modern track and field athletics are generally held on a running track of 400 meters length. The track events or the running events take place on the track. The field enclosed within the track is used for staging the field events like jumping, vaulting and throwing. The athletics competitions for men and women are held separately. The distance of the sprint events are generally the same for men and women. However, the barriers in the hurdle and steeplechase events are lowered for women. The weight of the shot, javelin, hammer and discus are also less in women's competition.