11 August 2008

A description of the sprints

Sprints generally include the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and 4 x 100m relays.

Sprints at world-class events generally include the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and 4 x 100m relays.

The sprints are arguably the highlights of the Commonwealth/Olympics, with the 100 metre finals perhaps the most anticipated of all. Medallists attain something near god-like status.

Athletics is undisputedly one of the oldest sports. Today’s international events don’t much resemble the games which started as a largely religious festival 3000 years ago. For a start, competitors are dressed (the word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnos”, meaning nude). Women are also now allowed as spectators, although some historians say unmarried women were allowed to attend in ancient times.

There’s a purity about running that evades more high-tech events. Whether it’s sprints, middle-distance, road running, hurdles or relays, the event consists of an area that must be covered before your competitors do.

The tension of being under starter’s orders is always shared by the crowds. But today’s spectators are better off than those in ancient Greece, when up to 40 000 would gather in 33-degree temperatures.

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.