During the Cold War, the sport of track and running gained popularity. Competitions between the United States and the Soviet Union helped fuel the popularity of the sport.
Track and field events began to be standardized. The curvature of the track was established, and lanes were defined. Athletes were timed at virtually all competitions.
Historically, tracks were made of crushed cinders or dirt. During the 20th century, synthetic tracks became common. In the late 1960s, a Tartan track was introduced. It was an all-weather surface that provided consistent surfaces and allowed competitors to compete in adverse weather conditions.
The IAAF is the governing body of the sport. It ratifies world records. It also enshrined amateurism as one of its founding principles.
The IAAF also keeps records of best performances at national and international levels. It publishes a list of world records for each sport. This includes men’s and women’s events. It also introduces new world records at junior and indoor levels.
Relay races are team events where four runners work together to complete a certain distance. They are generally run by two men and two women. If the team fails to exchange the baton within a designated area, they may be disqualified.
Sprint races are short running events that usually consist of 100m, 200m, or 400m. They begin with a runner in a starting block in his or her lane. The runner should run without jumping.
In a long distance event, the athlete runs a set distance to the finish line. The finish line is a white line, about five centimeters wide. There are two groups of athletes in a race, one that begins on the inside lane and the other on the outside.