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Short-distance running: the official rules of the game briefly

Track and field running in athletics is called sprinting. Competitions take place mainly on the track of the stadium. Classic sprint distances – up to 400 meters. The Olympic program for women and men includes smooth running on 100, 200 and 400 meters, as well as relay races of the formats “4 to 100” and “4 to 400”.

The main official sprint competitions, in addition to the Olympics, are the European and World Championships. Short-distance running is traditionally included in the athletics all-around program. Today, this discipline is in demand not only in Europe and North America, but also in Africa, Asia and Latin America. By the way, it is the African runners who are considered the strongest sprinters in the world. Very rarely people from other continents can make them worthy of competition.

60 meter run
This discipline is known to everyone since the school program of physical education. It belongs to the sprint, but is not included in the program of the Olympic Games. Such races are traditionally held at commercial and domestic tournaments, as well as world and European championships. In fairness, it is worth noting that the 60-meter run was included in the Olympic program at the Games of 1900 and 1904, but then discipline was excluded from the list of mandatory.

This distance most often obeyed the Americans and Jamaicans. By the way, the first serious world record, which was held for a long time, was set by Russian Irina Privalova. She ran the 60-meter in 6.92 seconds. The world record holder from the USA, Kuolman Christian, managed this distance a little faster – 6.34 s.

This kind of sprint requires a phenomenal starting speed.

100 meter run
This discipline has been included in the Olympic program since the first official Games (1896). The race is held on a straight treadmill in the stadium, the start is made from special starting blocks. Athletes run along their track from 1.22 to 1.25 m wide, bounded by solid lines at the edges. A track in official international competitions must have 8 racetracks of the same length and width.

The first 100-meter world record was recorded in 1912 by American athlete Donald Lippincott. He ran the distance in 10.6 seconds as part of the main tournament of the Olympics in Stockholm. In the early stages of athletics, race times were measured with a mechanical watch. In 1966, the electronic stopwatch was first used at the European Championships.

In 2009, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt showed a phenomenal result at 100 meters – 9.58 seconds. Thus, he maximally raised the bar for all subsequent applicants in the men’s category. In women, the first serious record was 10.49 seconds.

200 meter run
This discipline entered the men’s Olympic program in 1900, and 48 years later into the women’s program. Competitions are held on the treadmills of the stadium. In addition, each athlete runs in a separate lane (width – 1.22-1.25 m). A mandatory requirement for the athletics stadium, which will host international 200m running competitions, is the presence of 8 identical tracks.

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It is very rare to meet a runner who was specialized in only 200 meters. Traditionally, sprinters participate in this discipline, who also run 100 meters. Bright examples are:

in men, Usain Bolt;
in women – Florence Griffith-Joyner.
The longest world records for men are 19.19 seconds, for women – 21.34 seconds.

400 meter run
This discipline is called a sprint marathon or a long sprint. It requires serious speed endurance from athletes, since one acceleration for victory, as in 60 meters, is not enough here. The 400-meter entered the men’s Olympic program in 1896, and only 1964 into the women’s program.

Interestingly, this discipline is considered one of the oldest in athletics. It was popular in the United States over 2 centuries ago. Then the athletes competed at a distance of 440 yards, which is equal to 402.3 meters. For this reason, in the entire history of international tournaments running 400 meters above the rest, American athletes won. In women, in this aspect, approximate equality is observed.

The world record holder at this distance, which clearly stood out from the masses, was South African runner Weide van Nickerk, who overcame the milestone in 43.03 seconds. In women, German Marita Koch can boast of such an achievement. Her result is 47.6 seconds.

The basic rules of the competition
In qualifying rounds, runners who are able to achieve a certain temporary result as part of their athletics federation are allowed to participate in international tournaments. The selection for the Olympics is carried out in 4 rounds: preliminary run, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals.

Start in all sprint disciplines is taken from a low position (in some cases, from blocks). During the run, athletes are not allowed to cross the line of restriction of an alien track.

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