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Track and Field Events Assessment

Introduction

Of all the sporting events in the world, track and field are arguably the most fascinating, spine chilling and spellbinding to watch. It has to be the only sport that comprises multiple diverse contests in the same field. A spectator is availed a wide range to choose from as track and field have the widest range of competitive athletic challenges and contests. Unlike football, rugby, basketball, hockey and volleyball, which are team sports, track and field is mainly an individual sport, making it very competitive and intriguing. The individuality of the sport makes it easy to practice and does not need expensive facilities especially running events. Track and field mainly revolve around running, jumping, and throwing. Records sets are kept on various levels like national records, commonwealth records, Olympic records, and World records. These are constantly reviewed once there has been a new recordset. The athletes are perceived to be competing for their respective nations and once they win, they wave their national flags, and their respective national anthems are played while on the podium receiving the medals. Track and field events are thus a source of national and continental pride.

Diversity and popularity of Track and Field Events

The Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships are the two most famous events in athletics. They have millions and millions of viewers around the world. The exciting thing about track and field is that its diversity makes an event, as the Olympics attract participants from all corners of the world. Some of the most famous well-known track and field events are, sprints running, pole vault jump, long jump, shot put, relays, discus throwing, triple jump, short and long-distance running and hammer throwing. Yet still, some events combine some of the individual events to form the decathlon and triathlon (Gifford 32).

Track and field events are held in a stadium, which on normal occasions has oval running tracks and an inside grass surface. The spectators can have a bird’s view of the events taking place. Fierce competition has been in existence for a long time for example the Americans have been in fierce competition with the Jamaicans in the sprints while Kenyans and Ethiopians are on the long-distance running. Track and field are thus one of the most well-known sporting activities in the world. It is possible to host the same events both indoors and outdoors making it possible to host events in any part of the globe. Winter Olympic has also become very popular.

Shortcomings of Track and Field Events

However, the prominent level of competition has made athletes turn to dope to outdo their opponents. The fact that most of the track and field events are individual events put a lot of pressure on a person and there is a lot of expectation from the athletes’ respective countries, and this makes them turn to drugs. Some of the most famous athletes who have failed drug tests include the iconic Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones. The rampant use of drugs and performance enhancers has tarnished the name of track and field events.

Track and field events are also very draining on an individual. It is thus not possible to hold events involving the same athletes on regular basis like the way team sports do. Fans of track and field events have thus no constant form of entertainment and end up being taken by team sports like football. This lack of consistency also discourages sponsors from investing in track and field events turning to team sports and consequently the track and field events athletes lack motivation (Knotts 50).

The multi-diversity of track and field events makes organizing an event very expensive. This thus attracts few organizers, consequently, track and field’s events are few and thus the millions of fans are kept in long dry spells. Most of the built stadiums do not have tracks and thus cannot host track and field events. The conflicting laws of the various national level organs and international organs further devastate sports. Injury to an athlete could mean the end of one’s career. Unlike team sports that only require a contribution of members on a weekly basis, track and field events demand an individual be a hundred percent fit. Once injured, an individual is not paid unlike team sports that have existing contracts and thus players are paid irrespective of the injuries. Some of the dress code of athletes has been criticized especially in the Islamic world. Women athletes from the Islamic world have been discouraged to participate because of cultural and religious rules (Hughes 43).

Conclusion

Track and field events are exciting to undertake and thrilling to watch. They develop nature talents encouraging young people to keep fit in an era where obesity and food-related diseases are on the rise. They are also a source of income. However, due to their individualistic nature, athletics demand one to be a hundred percent fit which is almost impossible. The diversification of track and field events make them expensive to organize and host thus discouraging regular hosting of such events.

Works Cited

Gifford, Clive. Track and Field. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group Inc, 2009.

Hughes, Morgan. Track and Field; an Introduction to Tack & Field. Vero Beach: Rourke Press, 2001.

Knotts, Bob. Track and Field. New York: Children’s Press, 2000.

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