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5000m at the 2005 Island Games.
The oldest organised sport can be split into four activities – running and walking (track), and throwing and jumping (field).
Nearly 4,000 years ago, sport was played at the festival of Lugnasad or the Tailteann Games in Ireland. Events included running, pole vault, hammer throwing, horse races and chariot races.
Athletics featured prominently in the Olympic Games - the earliest recorded were in Ancient Greece in 776 BC. They were held for around a thousand years before being abolished by a Roman Emperor who didn't like 'pagan' festivals.
Guernsey won 7 Golds, 1 Silver & 2 Bronze in 2005.
The original Olympics consisted only of a 200m sprint and lasted just a day. In later years the 400m race was added and then another over 4,800m. After about a century, other events were added, including long jump and throwing competitions.
Many modern athletic events originate from this era. The javelin can be traced back to Greek soldiers who spent hours practicing their spear-throwing skills.
In 490 BC, the Greek army won a battle at Marathon and sent a runner 25 miles to Athens to spread the good news. According to legend, the messenger shouted "Rejoice! We conquer!" and then dropped dead. The first modern Olympics in 1896 included a marathon in his honour.
The sport of Athletics has had roots on the island since ancient times. It is a very popular sport and they have many athletes who participate in international events, the Olympic Games and the IAAF World Championships.
Kalipatira in 2006 before the renovation work.
The athletic events will be hosted in the newly constructed, 400m 8 lane, Track and Field of the Kalipatira Sports Complex. It was one of the 2004 Special Olympics training facilities.
The half marathon will be held in the City of Rhodes starting from the Ancient Stadium where the opening ceremony will be held.
Athletics Records after the 2005 Games
Event - Record Holder - Island - Year
100m 10.60 Gordon Crowe Isle of Man 1989
Long Jump 7.73 Mattias Sunneborn Gotland 1993
Javelin 59.46 Andrew Martch Isle of Wight 1993
4 x 100m Relay 42.00 Guernsey 2003
100m 12.02 Kelly Southerton Isle of Wight 1997
Long Jump 5.84 Kelly Southerton Isle of Wight 1997
Shot Putt 12.86 Virge Treiel Saaremaa 1997
4 x 100m Relay 47.60 Cayman 1999
last updated: 13/10/2008 at 12:50