Ho Chi Minh 2003
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.