Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


Athletics at Tokyo Olympics: A look at all the events

We discuss all the athletics events that will be held at the Tokyo Olympics

Athletics at Tokyo Olympics: A look at all the events

Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 4 Jun 2021 5:11 PM GMT

The sport of Athletics at the Olympic Games is split into three different categories: track and field events, road running events, and race-walking events.

The Tokyo Olympics will feature 48 events instead of the 47 events that were held in Rio in 2016. A 4x400m Mixed Relay Event has been added to The Games this year.

Let's discuss further about the various athletics events to be held at Tokyo 2020:

Track Events


Usain Bolt is the world record holder in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m mens relay races [Source: TIME]

The track events for men at the Tokyo Olympics will include three sprinting events: 100m, 200m and 400m. These are the shortest distances at The Games. Middle-distance running event will include two categories: 800m and 1500m. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also feature 5000m and 10,000m long-distance running events.

Track events also include the Hurdles race. In this race format, hurdles are placed all over the distance of the course and the athletes need to overcome the hurdles by jumping over them. The male athletes will take part in two hurdles race: 110m and 400m.

The Tokyo Olympics will also have the 3000m Steeplechase race where athletes will need to overcome 28 barriers and seven water jumps.

4x100m and 4x400m relay races will also feature prominently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Sally Pearson holds the Olympic record in the womens 100m Hurdles Race [Source: The Indian Express]

The female athletes will be taking part in all the track events as their male counterparts. The only difference is in the shortest format of the hurdles race. While the men take part in a 110m hurdles race, the women have to cover a distance of 100m in their hurdles race. However, the distance of 400m equally applies to both genders.

Women and men will also take part in the mixed 4x400 relay event which is the newest addition at the Tokyo Olympics.

Road Events


Eliud Kipchoge is a legend of the modern Marathon race [Source: TIME]

The male athletes will be able to take part in three road events at the Tokyo Olympics: Marathon, 20 km walk, and 50 km walk.

One of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, the distance in a Marathon race became standardized only in 1921 when it was defined as an official distance of 42.195 km.

In the race walk event, athletes must keep in touch with the ground and the supporting leg must remain straight until the raised leg passes it.


Women are able to compete in both the Marathon race as well as the 20 km walk. However, the longer 50 km walk race category hasn't featured women at the Olympics yet.

Field Events

Neeraj Chopra competes in the Javelin Throw category [Source: TOI]

Both men and women will take part in all the field events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which are as follows:

Long Jump – In the long jump, athletes attempt to leap as far as possible from a given 'take-off' point.

Triple Jump – In the Triple Jump, which is also known as the Hop, Skip and Jump, the athlete runs down the track and performs a hop, a bound and then a jump into the sand pit. The Long Jump and Triple are referred to as the 'Horizontal Jumps.'

High Jump – Athletes attempt to jump over a horizontal bar placed at measured heights without dislodging it in a High Jump.

Pole Vault – In the Pole Vault, an athlete attempts to jump over a bar or a crossbar supported by two uprights with the aid of a long and flexible pole. Alongside Long Jump, Triple Jump, and High Jump, it is classified as a Jumping event.

Shot Put – In Shot Put, the athletes try to throw a heavy and spherical ball called the 'shot' as far as possible.

Discus Throw – Discus Throw, also known as Disc Throw, is an event where the athlete tries to throw a heavy disc as far as possible.

Javelin Throw – In a Javelin Throw, athletes first run to gain momentum and then throw a light spear called javelin about 2.5m in length as far as possible.

Hammer Throw – The 'hammer' in the Hammer Throw actually refers to a metal ball attached to a grip by a steel wire. While the men's hammer weighs 7.26 kg and measures 121.3 cm in length, the women's hammer weighs 4 kg and measures 119.4 cm in length. The goal of the athletes is to throw the hammer the farthest. The Shot Put, Discus Throw, Javelin Throw, and Hammer Throw are collectively referred to as throwing events.

Combined Events


The men's Decathlon consists of ten track and field events held over the course of two days. These are: 100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400m on the first day and 110m Hurdles, Discus Throw, Pole Vault, Javelin Throw, 1500m on the second day. Performance is assessed on a points system in each event.


The women's Heptathlon combines seven events: 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin Throw, and 800m.

Next Story