20 votes
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Did Adolf Hitler really snub Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin?

Jesse Owens was snubbed by who? Everyone knows that at the 1936 Olympics Hitler snubbed Jesse Owens. As the story goes, after Owens won one gold medal, Hitler, incensed, stormed out of Olympic ...
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14 votes
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Has anyone won an olympic gold without setting the fastest time in the competition?

In the men's 1500m at the 2012 Olympics, Abdalaati Iguider ran 3:34.00 in the 2nd semi-final. The final was won by Taoufik Makhloufi in a time of 3:34.08. In the men's 5000m, Mo Farah won with a time ...
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  • 22.4k
10 votes
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What do the tiny yellow RC cars next to the javelin throwing field do?

They are collecting the javelins (and other projectiles) for athletes: Over eight million TV viewers across Europe watched the remote control 1:5 scale model Volvo XC90 collect javelins, discuses ...
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  • 7,547
10 votes

What happens when two athletes fall down in a 100m dash?

According to IAAF competition rules art 163: Lane Infringement (a) in all races run in lanes, each athlete shall keep within his allocated lane from start to finish. this shall also apply to any ...
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  • 9,240
9 votes
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Why was USA disqualified from the 4x100 men's relay final in the Rio Olympics?

4x100m relay are composed by 4 runners that run approximately 100m each. To avoid that a faster athlete run a longer section are imposed limits for the passage of the baton. In the image below you ...
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  • 9,240
8 votes
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Is it true that a sprinter ran the 100m in 21.73 seconds in a World Championship?

Yes, the story is true. Here is a video showing the race (at timecode 5:51). As you can see, Kim Collins (at lane 7: it is him indeed, cf. the IAAF official results, heat #5) makes a normal start, but ...
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8 votes

What does the term it's a fast track mean in regards to the long jump track?

Here is a really good article on this subject: When a track is designed for Olympic competition, the designers are going to make the track as “fast” as possible — which usually means that the ...
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8 votes
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Why 110-hurdles for men and 100-hurdles for women?

TL;DR: 110 m was set for historical reasons and women had the distance set to 100 m to both use metric units and keep consistency with the number of hurdles run by men (10). 110 metres hurdles in ...
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  • 1,355
8 votes
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Is the 4-minute mile still the "highest" standard?

for men, the mile world record has been 3:43.13 by Hicham El Guerrouj since 1999, and a little more than 1,500 athletes have broken the 4-minute barrier over 6,000 times since then. that number ...
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  • 271
7 votes

Did Adolf Hitler really snub Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin?

Owens, a lifelong member of the Republican party, said "Hitler didn't snub me - it was [FDR] who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram," at a Republican rally in October, ...
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  • 189
7 votes

Can I take part in the Olympic Games decathlon by default?

Entry by Qualifying Standards In decathlon, your ability compared to the average athlete is irrelevant; what you need is to meet the fixed entry standard within a certain time period prior to the ...
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  • 7,547
7 votes
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Did an athlete lap the rest of the runners after an illness that left him in bed for a long time before the competition?

It was Emil Zátopek!! Thanks to JeopardyTempest in comments I could track the results from the European Athletics Championships. There, I found a couple of interesting and promising results: Oslo 1946 ...
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  • 1,355
7 votes

High jump: Why is it not allowed to take off on both feet, do flip flops etc?

As aqwert said, gymnasts use a spring floor. As a metric for how high a gymnast can launch, I checked out this video of a quadruple twist in a floor routine. Kenzo Shirai is 1.64m (5'5") tall. At 1:...
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  • 71
6 votes

How to calculate IAAF points?

Half a year later I can answer this myself. The formula is points = floor(conversionFactor * (result + resultShift)^2 + pointShift) And all the smarts are within knowing the coefficients. But let's ...
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  • 259
6 votes
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Indoor / outdoor track and field different records?

tl;dr: Track distance, tightness of curves, and banked curves Event distances Different implement weights Lack of wind Differences in runways (length and responsiveness) For the track events, you've ...
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  • 2,778
5 votes

What do you call a javelin thrower?

Like Philip Kendall said, in athletics, a person who throws a javelin is called a "javelin thrower". Collins Dictionary has an entry for "javelin thrower": (athletics) a person who throws a ...
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  • 4,851
5 votes
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How is a javelin throw measured if the javelin does not stick into the ground?

This is covered by the IAAF Competition Rules. Quoting from the 2014–2015 edition, Rule 187.20: The measurement of each throw shall be made [...] from where the head of the javelin first ...
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  • 22.4k
5 votes

Why not make the starting pistol predictable in running competitions?

IAAF rule 162.2 ("The start") says: All races shall normally be started by the report of the Starter’s gun held upwards. and 162.6 ("False start") specifies that: An athlete, after assuming a ...
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  • 2,778
5 votes

Could a track superstar be successful in the NFL?

Track stars have been successful in the NFL in the past, but not necessarily pure track stars. Bullet Bob Hayes, for example, won two gold medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics (one individual, one relay)...
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  • 11.7k
5 votes
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What strategic considerations go into passing at an attempt in events such as high jump?

There are 2 general cases when athletes pass on jumps: The height is too low They want to go up in the standings Usually when an athlete starts jumping, they don't pass to preserve energy. The jumps ...
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  • 10.4k
4 votes
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Bolt + Blake + Powell ever run together in a 4x100m relay?

Not in a global final before Rio 2016, which is to say, probably no. Blake's breakthrough came in 2011, so he wasn't a factor in 2009. There was no global championship with a 4x100m in 2010. Powell ...
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  • 2,778
4 votes

100m sprint: is there evidence for some lanes being better than others?

The only practical preference for lane assignment in the 100m sprint is for a matter that's no longer the case at the Olympic games and many other large competitions. In 2008, research was published ...
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  • 1,659
4 votes

What is the record for greatest number of athletes with the same finish time in one event?

I looked for recorded instances of the same finishing time by more than 3 runners, and couldn't find any. As was mentioned in the comments, the race you referenced in your question was reported to 0....
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4 votes
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How do you master the hang technique?

I spent two years trying to perfect the hang technique in high school and I was an utter failure. I was fast and tall so was sent to do the long jump, but ended up being a little too big to make this ...
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  • 5,103
4 votes

What does the term it's a fast track mean in regards to the long jump track?

Specifically for the long jump, the issue for the competitors is their starting marks. They set themselves up very carefully for their jumps in order to make their last stride as close to the board as ...
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  • 2,778
4 votes

What are multidisciplinary sports?

Racketlon a combination of racket sports. Modern pentathlon fencing, swimming, show jumping, shooting, running. Throws pentathlon Chess boxing Also possibly: Joggling running/juggling, Cycle ball ...
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  • 502
4 votes
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Can an athlete with double nationality beat two country records at the same time?

Yes, it is possible if the rules of the respective national athletics federations allow it. National records are governed by national athletics federations and, while everywhere the big line is that ...
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4 votes

What happens if 2 high jumpers do not agree on what to do if they are tied?

If both competitors don't agree to cancel the jumpoff, it will proceed as the default, and either competitor can forfeit the jumpoff (effectively "refusing" the jumpoff) making themselves ...
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  • 271

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