track trials Track trials include sprint, middle-distance and long-distance races, considering distances ranging from 100 m to 10,000 m, including hurdles, obstacle courses (steeplechase) and relay races of 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m.
In the picture, a female athlete celebrates, with their arms extended, having arrived and crossed the finish line.

History of this sport

According to experts, it is the oldest organized sport in the world. The first event that took place was in the ancient Olympic Games, in the year 776 B.C.

In 1896, athletics was included at the first modern version of the Olympic Games held in Athens. From that time forward, athletics has been part of the different sports competitions around the world.

In July 1912, the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) was founded. In 2001, it became the International Association of Athletics Federations, although they managed to maintain the same initials. And in October 2019, it was renamed World Athletics.

Athletics has been held since Buenos Aires 1951, the first edition of the Pan American Games. At Lima 2019, Mike Rodgers, from the US delegation, won the gold medal in the 100m dash, and in women’s the winner was Elaine Thompson, from Jamaica.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, multiple Olympic medalist and also one of Jamaica's stars, won the 200m dash at Lima 2019 and broke the Pan American record in that event.

In the picture, a female athlete celebrates, with their arms extended, having arrived and crossed the finish line.

How do you compete?

Athletics track events allow you to see and enjoy the constant improvement of the participants in speed and resistance. These competitions are categorized in sprints, middle distance, long distance, hurdles and relays.

Sprints take place on each of the eight lanes that make up the 400m athletic track. They are explosive competitions, of short duration and at maximum speed. Athletes make use of starting blocks where they place their feet and allow judges to better control false moves. The starting signal is made in three voices: “on your marks”, “ready” and “go”, which usually goes with a starting shot.

The middle-distance races are longer. They are the 800 m, 1500 m dash and 3000 m with obstacles. In these tests the starting blocks are not used and the starting signal is two-voiced: “to your marks” and “start shot”.

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Information for the community

The main venue at Santiago 2023 will be the National Stadium Sports Park, which will have the Mario Recordon Athletics Training and Competition Center for the athletics competitions. This center for national and Pan-American sports is expected to be ready in the first half of 2023, with a total investment of 20,8 million dollars.

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