Sprint Running (Athletics)

Sprint running races are short distances races in which athletes try to run at their maximum speed throughout the entire distance of the race. Sprint races are part of the track and field discipline and are included in all events that feature track and field competitions.

The 400m oval running track is split into eight lanes, where each lane is 4ft wide. Up to eight athletes compete in a single race. Competitions are conducted in a heats format, where athletes in groups of eight take part in a every race, with winners moving on to the next round, until the final winner is decided.

Sprint races can be of various distances from 50 - 400m. The three formats used for the Olympics are, 100m, 200m and 400m. The 100mand 400m races are also conducted in a relay format where a team of four each run a leg and pass a baton from one runner to the next.

For the 100m race all runners are lined up in a straight line in a track, and for the 200m and 400m the start position is based on which lane the athlete is on the track. The runner to first cross the finish line is the winner. The time taken to finish the race for each athlete is also tracked for historical record keeping.

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