Track and Field

The sport of track and field has its roots in human prehistory. Track and field-style events are among the oldest of all sporting competitions. The first recorded examples of organised track and field events at a sports festival are the Ancient Olympic Games in 776 BC in Olympia in Greece. Only one event was contested: the stadion footrace. The scope of the Games expanded in later years to include further running competitions but the introduction of the Ancient Olympic pentathlon marked a step towards track and field as it is recognised today as it comprised a five-event competition of the long jump, javelin throw, discus throw, stadion footrace, and wrestling. Track and field events were also present at the Panhellenic Games in Greece around this period, and they spread to Rome in Italy around 200 BC. After the period of Classical antiquity in which the sport was largely Greco-Roman influenced new track and field events began developing in parts of Northern Europe in the Middle Ages. The stone put and weight throw competitions popular among Celtic societies in Ireland and Scotland were precursors to the modern shot put and hammer throw events. One of the last track and field events to develop was the pole vault, which stemmed from competitions such as the Fierljeppen contests in the Northern European Lowlands in the 18th century
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