Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Olympics guide: Athletics

Lots more thicky. Here's your Olympics guide to all things track and field. You're very welcome.

Athletes: 2000

Golds up for grabs: 47

Olympic presence: Men 1896–present; women 1928–present.

Olympic Format: 24 track events, 16 field events (4 jumping and 4 throwing for each gender), 5 road events (men’s and women’s marathons and 20km walks, men’s 50km walk), and 2 combined events (men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon).

Current Contenders: America has topped the athletics medals table in all but three of the 26 Modern Olympic Games and may well do it again in London. On the evidence of Beijing, however, their position is far from safe. Russia, Kenya and Jamaica each collected six golds in 2008, just one less than Team USA.

Past Champions: USA : 311 | USSR /Russia: 64 | Great Britain: 49 | Finland: 48

Watch it: Stadium (Track, field and combined events), London, finish at The Mall (Road events)

Find out more with freesat’s summer of sport guide

(Images: Rex Features)


'Extracted from How to Watch the Olympics by David Goldblatt & Johnny Acton (Profile Books)'




Olympics guide: Canoeing


Olympics guide: Gymnastics


Olympics guide: Fencing



Luis Suarez talks English football and the toughest PL defenders

He's a lover, not a biter

19 Oct 2016

Gary Lineker talks crisps, Rooney and "Sh*t on pitch"

Crisp don Gary Lineker reminisces about the time Diego Maradona nearly fell off a balcony

by Alex Christian
19 Oct 2016

Park Ji-sung now plays for De Montfort University's student side

And can't even prevent them from getting utterly drubbed

by Tristan Cross
14 Oct 2016

Watch San Marino players celebrate first WCQ away goal in 15 years

Ecstasy in Oslo

by Dave Fawbert
12 Oct 2016

The first-ever green card has been awarded in a football match

But how do you get one?

by Dave Fawbert
10 Oct 2016

Football's wonderkids that never made it

The prodigal youngsters that left us boy wondering

by Tristan Cross
05 Oct 2016

Celtic’s 13 year old wonderkid is already better than you'll ever be

Karamoko Dembele made his debut for the U20s last night

04 Oct 2016

The new FIFA president wants to ruin the World Cup

He might have just f*cked up massively

by David Cornish
04 Oct 2016

Sam Allardyce was foolish but he shouldn’t have been sacked

The England mess leaves more questions than answers

by Dave Fawbert
28 Sep 2016

England manager Sam Allardyce leaves after one game in charge

Farewell, Big Sam, we hardly knew ye

27 Sep 2016