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Athletics factbox for Athens 2004

Posted: Monday July 5, 2004 10:51PM; Updated: Monday July 5, 2004 10:51PM
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ATHENS, July 6 (Reuters) -- Factbox on athletics at the August 13-29 Athens Olympics:

HISTORY

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Athletics, derived from the Greek world "athlos" meaning battle or struggle, is the purest form of sport and as old as humanity itself.

Elemental competitions in running, jumping and throwing have been traced in the ancient world to Greece and Ireland. Classic Greek literature describes races in Hellas more than 1,000 years before the Christian era and the ancient Olympics were first staged in Olympia in the north-western Peloponnese. Dates vary for the first Games but the first recorded winner was Coroebus in 884 BC. Coroebus won the stadion, a race of approximately 200 metres and the only event on the early programme.

The Greeks sprinted, long jumped and threw the discus and the javelin. Their Olympic champions were justly renowned. After Roman emperor Theodosius decreed the end of the ancient Games in AD 393, athletics survived mostly in European military tournaments until the late 19th century when the foundations of the modern sport were laid in Victorian England.

By the time of the 1896 Athens Games, athletics was recognisably the sport it remains today with running as its centre. It is the main sport of the modern Olympics.

The sprint events, where pure speed prevails, are the 100, 200 and 400 metres (one lap of the track). The middle distances, a blend of speed and stamina, are the 800 and 1,500 metres and the long distances, mostly stamina, comprise the 5,000 and 10,000. The longest event is the 42.195-km marathon, a conscious throwback to ancient Greece and the legend of Phidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to proclaim the victory of the Athenians over the Persians before promptly dropping dead.

Field events, staged inside the oval track, include high, long and triple jumps and the pole vault. Throwing events include the javelin, discus, shot put and discus. Multi-events, evoking the Greek ideal of the all-round athlete, are the decathlon (10 events) for men and the heptathlon (seven) for women.

EVENTS

Men: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000, 10,000, marathon, 3,000 steeplechase, 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot, discus, hammer, javelin, decathlon, 20 km walk, 50 km walk, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay.

Women: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000, 10,000, marathon, 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot, discus, hammer, javelin, heptathlon, 20 km walk, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay.

2000 CHAMPIONS

Men

100m: Maurice Greene (U.S.)

200m: Konstantinos Kenteris (Greece)

400m: Michael Johnson (U.S.)

800m: Nils Schumann (Germany)

110m hurdles: Anier Garcia (Cuba)

400m hurdles: Angelo Taylor (U.S.)

1,500m: Noah Ngeny (Kenya)

3,000m steeplechase: Reuben Kosgei (Kenya)

5,000m: Millon Wolde (Ethiopia)

10,000m: Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)

20km walk: Robert Korzeniowski (Poland)

50km walk: Robert Korzeniowski (Poland)

Marathon: Gezahgne Abera (Ethiopia)

4x100m relay: U.S. (Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian

<_TABLE><3>

Lewis, Maurice Greene)

4x400m relay: U.S. (Alvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew,

Calvin Harrison, Michael Johnson)

High jump: Sergey Kliugin (Russia)

Long jump: Ivan Pedroso (Cuba)

Triple jump: Jonathan Edwards (Britain)

Shot: Arsi Harju (Finland)

Javelin: Jan Zelezny (Czech Republic)

Hammer: Szymon Ziolkowski (Poland)

Discus: Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuania)

Pole vault: Nick Hysong (U.S.)

Decathlon: Erki Nool (Estonia)

Women

100m: Marion Jones (U.S.)

200m: Marion Jones (U.S.)

400m: Cathy Freeman (Australia)

800m: Maria Mutola (Mozambique)

100m hurdles: Olga Shishigina (Kazakhstan)

400m hurdles: Irina Privalova (Russia)

1,500m: Nouria Merah-Benida (Algeria)

5,000m: Gabriela Szabo (Romania)

10,000m: Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia)

20km walk: Wang Liping (China)

Marathon: Naoko Takahashi (Japan)

4x100m relay: Bahamas (Sevatheda Fynes, Chandra Sturrup,

Pauline Davis, Debbie Ferguson)

4x400m relay: U.S. (Jearl Miles, Monique Hennagan, Marion

Jones, La Tasha Colander-Richardson)

High jump: Yelena Yelesina (Russia)

Long jump: Heike Drechsler (Germany)

Triple jump: Tereza Marinova (Bulgaria)

Shot: Yanina Korolchik (Belarus)

Javelin: Trine Hattestad (Norway)

Hammer: Kamila Skolimowska (Poland)

Discus: Ellina Zvereva (Belarus)

Pole vault: Stacy Dragila (U.S.)

Heptathlon: Denise Lewis (Britain)

OLYMPIC PROGRAMME (FINALS ONLY)

August 18 Men's shot put

Women's shot put

August 20 - Men's 20-km walk

Men's 10,000 metres

Heptathlon (four events)

August 21 - Women's discus

Heptathlon (three events)

Women's 100 metres

August 22 - Women's marathon

Men's hammer

Men's high jump

Men's triple jump

Men's 100 metres

August 23 - Women's 20-km walk

Women's triple jump

Men's discus

Women's 800 metres

Men's 400 metres

Women's 5,000 metres

Decathlon (five events)

August 24 - Women's pole vault

Men's 3,000 metres steeplechase

Women's 400 metres

Women's 100 metres hurdles

Men's 1,500 metres

Decathlon (five events)

August 25 - Women's 400 metres hurdles

Women's hammer

Women's 200 metres

August 26 - Men's long jump

Men's 400 metres hurdles

Men's 200 metres

August 27 - Men's 50-km walk

Men's pole vault

Women's long jump

Women's javelin

Men's 110 metres hurdles

Women's 10,000 metres

Women's 4x100 metres relay

August 28 - Women's high jump

Men's javelin

Women's 1,500 metres

Men's 800 metres

Men's 5,000 metres

Men's 4x100 metres relay

Women's 4x400 metres relay

Men's 4x400 metres relay

August 29 - Men's marathon

VENUES

Olympic Stadium, Athens (seats 55,000), for all events apart from the marathon, road walk and shot put.

The marathon will start from the town of Marathon and end in the Panathenean Stadium (40,000 seats), where the Games were held in 1896. The course will be the same as that run by Phidippides in the feat which inspired the race.

The men's and women's shot put will be held in the town of Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Games. The ancient stadium is designated a national treasure and has no grandstands or floodlights. Some 15,000 people will be allowed to watch from the grass slopes around the stadium.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

www.iaaf.org

Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


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