Athletics is derived from the Greek word "athlos" meaning "contest and may refer to Track and field athletics.
It is not a singular sport and the term is used comprising a group of athletic events which normally involve running, walking, jumping or throwing.
The Asian Track and Field Championships were originally planned at the 1962 Asian Games through the initiative of Major General Aziz Salleh the Chief of the Indonesian Federation (PASI), but went a-begging by the "emergence" of the ill conceived first and last Games of the Emerging Forces (GANEFO).
The idea to hold the Championships was revived by the Malaysian A.A.U. President, Tan Sri Mohamed Ghazali Shafie, at the 1966 Asian Games at Bangkok, which again met no better fate as circumstances outside the control of athletics idealist intervened.
At the 1970 Asian Games, the Punjab State Sports Minister, Sardar Umrao Singh, took up the Challenge and plans for the First Asian Championships at Delhi were finalized with Mr. R.L. Anand appointed Director of the Organisation when political developments in the sub-Continent thrust the plans not only out of gear but out of sight for another two years.
However, they kept up the tempo and though unable to hold the Championships, they called for a meeting of the Asian Athletic Team officials at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. It was there that Governor Jose C. Sering, President of the Philippines Track and Field Association (PATAFA) took up the challenge and history was made when the First Asian Track and Field Championships got off the launching pad and was held at the Marikina Stadium near Manila in November 1973.
Athletics was incorporated into the Asian Games in 1951 and is a compulsory sport.
List of disciplines
Field: Jumping and Throwing events. Jumping: In High Jump, you have to get over a bar that is raised each time you succeed. You get three attempts at every height, and the winner is the one who clears the bar at the greatest height.
Pole Vault follows the same rules, but athletes use a long pole to help launch themselves into the air. In Long Jump, athletes sprint down a runway before jumping as far as they can into a sand pit.
Triple Jump looks very similar, but you have to complete a hop and skip before you make your jump.
All these events require a combination of speed and smooth technique.
Throwing: The throwing disciplines are Shot Put, Javelin, Discus and Hammer. Competitors get six attempts to throw the object as far as they can into a field. Speed, strength and technique are needed.
Track: Running events within the stadium. Running and Walking races are held over distances ranging from 100m to 50km.
Apart from the Marathon and Race Walk events, which take place on the road, Running events are held in the stadium, on a 400m oval track.
Most of the racing is done on the flat, but Hurdles and Steeplechase competitions require athletes to jump over barriers on the way to the finish line. To succeed it takes speed, strength and stamina – as well as a good race strategy.