Short Distance Races

For the shortest running races, contestants must stay in lane at all times and will be disqualified if they change lanes. The short distance races consist of:

  • 100 m – The shortest running event in athletics, the 100 m sprint requires the athlete to start well, leaving the blocks with immense power and speed.

Record Breakers: Men: Tim Montgomery (USA) – 9.78 secs, 14/09/2002 Women: Florence Griffith Joyner (USA) – 10.49 secs, 16/07/1988

  • 200 m – As with the 100 m, the 200 m requires instant acceleration but it also needs stamina to maintain the speed for the duration of the race.

Record Breakers: Men: Michael Johnson (USA) – 19.32 secs, 01/08/1996 Women: Florence Griffith Joyner (USA) – 21.34 secs, 29/09/1988

  • 400 m – The distance of one circuit around the track, the 400 m requires the athlete to have a good powerful start whilst maintaining enough stamina and energy to make a sprinting finish at the end of the race.

Record Breakers: Men: Michael Johnson (USA) – 43.18 secs, 26/08/1999 Women: Marita Koch (GDR) – 47.60 secs, 06/10/1985

  • 600 m (this is only included in Indoor Athletics competitions) – Sometimes considered a middle distance race, this is often raced by 400 m athletes to improve endurance or by 800 m athletes to improve speed.

Record Breakers: Men: Johnny Gray (USA) – 1:12.81, 24/05/1986 Women: Ana Fidelia Quirot (CUB) – 1:22.63, 25/07/1997