"On your mark, get, set, GO!". As the gun is fired and athletes thunder down the track, a vivid scenery of a big, packed stadium with the crowd cheering insanely, comes to mind. Most times, only this is described to be "Athletics", events that involve sprinting across. That is however not completely true!
The ancient Greeks called all physical exercises as athletics, which in turn was subdivided into 'track and field' and 'weightlifting'. Athletic events during the early Olympics used to include a variety of events, like longer foot races, armor races, and a Pentathlon consisting of: stadium races, long jump, discus throw, javelin throw and wrestling. Today the definition has evolved over time, and while 'track' includes all running and hurdle events, 'field' includes the throwing and jumping events, with weightlifting being a different sport altogether, with its unique identity.
It is perhaps a shame, that there are many Indian legends, who have not yet been recognised for their contribution to Athletics. Murlikant Petkar, the first Indian to win an individual gold in Paralympics, is not recognized even by the Paralympics Committee! Other names like Sita Sahu (who won 2bronze medals at the 2011 Special Olympics at the age of 15), Lalita Babart (an Indian National Record holder and Gold medalist at the 2015 Asian Championships in 3000m Steeplechase) or Makhan Singh (who defeated Milkha Singh in the 1962 National Games of India at Calcutta) are yet some more unsung heroes who made the nation proud.
Intrigued yet? If not, this fact will definitely do the trick. Scientific experiments have proved that the brain cannot process and hear the information from the start of the sound under 0.1 seconds. In a comprehensive ruling of the IAAF, any athlete who begins inside 0.1 seconds of the gun firing is said to have false-started! For more such updates and creative content on a variety of sports, keep checking out Aavhan's Instagram Page. Hope to see you there!