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780 Track & Field Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Track & Field? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Track & Field (Sports). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
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1 The 100 metres dash is the first event on day one of the decathlon. On which part of the track is it run?
Answer: The home straight

On any 400 metres track, the 100 metre dash is always held on the home straight. To ensure that all competitors run in a completely straight line for this short and thrilling event, the beginning of the race starts on lines extended out past the normal 400 metre standard track. Incredibly so, while women still had to beat the ten second barrier for this event at the beginning of 2015, that barrier has now been broken by men.
    Your options: [ Beginning at the 200 metre line ] [ The first bend ] [ The home straight ] [ The third bend ]
  From Quiz: And Then You Run
2 Winning a gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics, American athlete Dick Fosbury was one of the most famous competitors in which event?
Answer: High jump

Dick Fosbury was one of the most influential high jumpers in modern Olympic history. His technique, known as the "Fosbury Flop", involves the jumper clearing the bar head first and backwards. Until Fosbury introduced his unique style, most jumpers used a straddle technique, the sometimes ended in injury. Fosbury's style was completely innovative, allowed for higher jumps, and is used by almost all high jumpers today.
    Your options: [ 4x100m relay ] [ High jump ] [ Hammer throw ] [ 110 hurdles ]
  From Quiz: Running, Jumping, and Throwing
3 "I am an American discus thrower born in 1936. At the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne I won the gold medal. I would go on to win the gold medal in the next three Summer Olympics as well. What is my name?"
Answer: Al Oerter

Al Oerter was born on September 19th 1936 in New York, USA. He started throwing the discus at age 15 and achieved success very quickly. He won the gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, defeating fellow Americans Fortune Gordien (silver) and Desmond Koch (bronze). He would go on to win the gold medal at the next three Summer Olympics (1960 in Rome, 1964 in Tokyo and 1968 in Mexico City), setting a record for consecutive Olympic gold medals in the same event.

Oerter retired shortly after the 1968 Summer Olympics. He held the world record four times in his career. After some time of illness, he died in October 2007 as a result of a cardiovascular disease.
    Your options: [ Fortune Gordien ] [ Al Oerter ] [ Desmond Koch ] [ Rink Babka ]
  From Quiz: Ditch The Discus
4 Who in 1988 became the first woman to run the 100 metres in under 10.5 seconds?
Answer: Florence Griffith Joyner

Florence Griffith Joyner aka Flo-Jo was a US athlete who in 1988 set world records for both the 100 and 200 metres. Flo-Jo was the wife of triple jumper Al Joyner and sister-in-law of Jackie Joyner Kersee. She died in 1998 as the result of an epileptic seizure aged 38.
  From Quiz: Athletics Assortment
5 Which Kenyan athlete broke four separate world records in one year, but never competed at the Olympic Games?
Answer: Henry Rono

Born in Kenya Henry Rono, like many other African athletes, attended University in America, in his case Washington State University where he was coached by John Chaplin. In 1978, in the space of 81 days, he broke the world record for the 10,000 metres, 5000 metres, 3000 metres steeplechase and 3000 metres flat. That same year he took gold for Kenya at the Commonwealth Games in the 5000 metres and 3000 metres steeplechase. Although he continued competing at top level for the next four years he never again achieved the dominance he had in 1978. He never competed at an Olympics because Kenya boycotted the 1976 and 1980 Games and by 1984 he was too old to compete at that level.
The three incorrect choices are all Kenyan distance runners. Samson Komobwa held the 10,000 metres world record in 1977.
    Your options: [ Henry Rono ] [ Patrick Muturi ] [ Mike Kosgei ] [ Samson Kimobwa ]
  From Quiz: Going The Extra Mile
6 At the World Athletic Championships in Tokyo 1991, Mike Powell (USA) set a new world record with a jump of 8.95 meters. In 1950, this record was held by Jesse Owens (USA). How far did Jesse Owens jump?
Answer: 8.13 meters

Jesse Owen's 8.13 meter leap in 1935 was a mighty effort that would stand until 1960, and even then it would only be bested by 8 centimeters. One of the most amazing moments in sport happened in 1968 when Bob Beamon (USA) smashed the record at the time of 8.35 meters with a jaw dropping leap of 8.90 meters. The comment I will always remember is from one of his fellow competitors who said, "This guy just went into orbit. How are we supposed to compete with that?"
  From Quiz: World Records from 1950
7 What is the name of the event in which you swing a ball on a chain around and then hurl it out into the field?
Answer: Hammer Throw

The name "hammer throw" derived from earlier competitions in which a hammer like implement was thrown. The event uses a ball weighing approximately 7kgs for men and just 4kgs for women.
    Your options: [ Ball and Chain ] [ Hammer Throw ] [ Chain Hurl ] [ Chaicus ]
  From Quiz: IAAF Track and Field: Pt 2
8 What are the two main categories in athletics?
Answer: Track And Field

Track events are events like sprints (100m, 200m etc.), Long distance, Hurdles etc. Field events are like jumping and throwing events.
  From Quiz: IAAF Track and Field: Pt 1
9 Who was the fastest woman of 2006?
Answer: Sherone Simpson

She ran 10.82 and 22.00, which makes her the fastest on both the 100 and 200.
  From Quiz: Female Athletes
10 How many hurdles are in a standard hurdles race?
Answer: 10

The standard hurdles races are (for men) 110m and 400m. For women, they are 100m and 400m. 50m, 60m, 80m, 200m, and 300m hurdles are not standard races.
  From Quiz: Track and Field
11 Who in 1988 broke the women's 100m record with a time of 10.49 secs?
Answer: Florence Griffith Joyner

She started her career at the age of 7.
  From Quiz: World Records
12 Runners may refer to this as a "stick"?
Answer: Baton

Batons are light weight, usually aluminum hollow sticks, that are required to remain in the hand of each runner in the relay, during their leg of the race.
  From Quiz: Technical Track Things
13 In the year 2001, who had the furthest shotput going into the IAAF World Champoinships?
Answer: Janus Roberts

The 22 year old prodigy, representing South Africa, threw 72'1", the farthest throw in the world in 2001.
  From Quiz: Track and Field Throws
14 Who held the world record for longest throw, with the old rules javelin before it was changed in 1986?
Answer: Uwe Hohn

The record was 104.87 meters.
  From Quiz: Javelin Knowledge
15 How many gold medals did Carl Lewis win in the 1984 Olympic Games?
Answer: 4

100m, 200m, Long Jump and 4x100m relay.
  From Quiz: Track and Field
16 What was the world record for the men's 100 metres in mid-2001?
Answer: 9.79 secs

Maurice Greene, the first man to break the 9.80 second barrier.
  From Quiz: Track and Field
17 The USA Track and Field award for the year's best athlete is named after this man, who is mostly famous for winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Answer: Jesse Owens

Considering that those games were held during the Nazi regime in Germany, and Hitler had hopes that German athletes would dominate the events, such a victory by Owens, an African American athlete, is still seen as legendary. A year before, at the Big Ten Track and Field Championship, Jesse also wrote a big page in history, as he broke three world records and equalled another, all in the space of 45 minutes.
    Your options: [ Jesse Owens ] [ Ralph Metcalfe ] [ James LuValle ] [ Mack Robinson ]
  From Quiz: With A Spirit Born To Run
18 The second event on day one of the decathlon is the long jump. What did the athletes in this original sport have to once carry in each hand while jumping?
Answer: A ten pound weight

The long jump is the only original jumping sport played today that was also played way back in the ancient Olympics as well. Based on training for warfare, the purpose of the long jump was to enable soldiers to jumps streams and other obstacles. Because they carried weapons whilst doing so, this was emulated in the ancient sport with competitors having to carry a weight of approximately 10 pounds in each hand, and swing their arms through with the jump. Far from being cruel, however, those weights gave athletes the ability to jump further.
  From Quiz: And Then You Run
19 Similar to most distance jumping events, what do triple jumpers typically land on during their last jump?
Answer: Sand

For men, the sand pit usually starts about 13 meters (42 feet) from the initial takeoff point. Sand is a good absorber of shock on the knees. A harder landing surface wouldn't provide adequate support to mitigate injuries.
  From Quiz: Jump Jump Jump - The Triple Jump
20 "I am a discus thrower who represents Estonia. I won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and was World Champion in 2007 in Osaka. What is my name?"
Answer: Gerd Kanter

Gerd Kanter was born on May 6th 1979 in Tallinn, Estonia. He was the 2007 World Champion in Osaka, defeating Robert Harting of Germany (silver) and Rutger Smith of the Netherlands (bronze). A year later Kanter won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the first Estonian athlete achieving this. His fellow Estonian Aleksander Tammert had previously won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Kanter also qualified for the 2012 London Summer Olympics. He won the bronze medal. In 2012 and 2013 he also won the Diamond League, a series of fourteen events in track and field.
  From Quiz: Ditch The Discus
21 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson lost Olympic and World Championships records after being disqualified for doping. Johnson emigrated to Canada in 1976 from which country?
Answer: Jamaica

Benjamin Sinclair Johnson was born in Falmouth, Jamaica. He won two Olympic bronze medals in the 1984 games (100m and the 4x100m relay) before eventually being disqualified and losing his 1988 Olympic gold medal (100m). After several failed drug tests, Johnson was eventually banned for life from competing internationally. He could technically race in Canada, but nobody would race against him as they could also face suspension.
    Your options: [ Jamaica ] [ Barbados ] [ United States ] [ Cuba ]
  From Quiz: Young, Gifted, and Black
22 Which Ethiopian athlete won double gold (5000 metres and 10,000 metres) at the Moscow Olympics?
Answer: Miruts Yifter

Yifter made his Olympic debut at the 1972 Munich Games, where he won a bronze medal in the 10,000 metres. Ethiopia, along with other African countries, boycotted the 1976 games, but he made up for any disappointment this caused him with convincing wins at both distances in 1980. His ability to swiftly change pace to a blistering sprint earned him the nickname "Yifter the Shifter".
The three incorrect choices are all Ethiopian distance runners. Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win Olympic Gold, which he achieved in 1960 for the marathon, which he ran in bare feet.
    Your options: [ Miruts Yifter ] [ Abebe Bikila ] [ Mohamed Kedir ] [ Kenenisa Bekele ]
  From Quiz: Going The Extra Mile
23 In Spain in 1993, Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) cleared a high jump of 2.45 meters. The record in 1950 was held by Lester Steers (USA) who had jumped over the bar at what height?
Answer: 2.11 meters

Progressing just 34 centimeters in 43 years might not seem very much, but it is very hard to get yourself even a little bit higher off the ground. A lot of the increase in the record for this event is due to the change in technique brought about by Dick Fosbury, with the introduction of the "Fosbury Flop".
  From Quiz: World Records from 1950
24 Over how long does a race have to be to be classified as an ultra-marathon?
Answer: 42.195km

Many two main types of ultramarathons are run. The most common is a race over a set length. The winner is the one with the quickest time. Another is where a certain time is set and the winner is the one with the furthest distance covered at that time. Some other ultra-marathons are multi-day races, the 24 hour race, and the double ultra-marathon.
  From Quiz: IAAF Track and Field: Pt 2
25 How many jumping events are there?
Answer: 4

The four events are high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault.
  From Quiz: IAAF Track and Field: Pt 1
26 On what event did Allyson Felix win the world title in 2005?
Answer: 200m

She already ran 22.11 when she was 17.
  From Quiz: Female Athletes
27 How high are the hurdles in the men's 110 meter?
Answer: 42 inches

Men's sprint hurdles are 42 inches high. If you're under 19 you probably hurdle shorter hurdles.
  From Quiz: Track and Field
28 Who in 2002 broke the men's 100m record with a time of 9.78 seconds?
Answer: Tim Montgomery

He beat Maurice Greene's old world record by 100th of a second.
  From Quiz: World Records
29 Who had the Olympic record in the Men's Discus throw before Lars Reidel broke in the 1996 games in Atlanta?
Answer: Juergen Schultz

Before Lars broke the Olympic record, Juergen Schultz had both the Olympic and World records.
  From Quiz: Track and Field Throws
30 Who won the 1999 World Championships?
Answer: Aki Parviainen

Up until the final throw of the 6th round, Aki Parviainen had been in third place and was not expected to pull that one out.
  From Quiz: Javelin Knowledge
31 How long did Bob Beamon's world record in long jump last?
Answer: 23 Years

From the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, to the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
  From Quiz: Track and Field
32 Which British athlete came second in the men's 200m at the Sydney Olympics?
Answer: Darren Campbell

He regularly competed in the 100m, but stepped up to the 200m for the Olympics and found his distance.
    Your options: [ Darren Campbell ] [ John Regis ] [ Christian Malcolm ] [ Dwain Chambers ]
  From Quiz: Track and Field
33 What type of shoes are worn for running track or cross-country?
Answer: Racers-flats

Racers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are diferent 'racers' for different track events. For instance they are shaped differently depending on what event you do.
  From Quiz: Running
34 The third event on day one of the decathlon is the shot put. Part of the modern Olympics since 1896, the origins of this sport date back to which period of history?
Answer: Middle Ages

Again based on the military, the shot put's origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages (5th to the 15th centuries) when soldiers entertained one another between periods of war by holding competitions to see how far each could hurl a cannonball. As it evolved into a true sport, the shot put was first recorded as that sport in Scotland at the beginning of the 18th century. By the mid nineteenth century it had become part of the British Amateur Championships. A shot put today weighs 16.1 pounds for men and 8.8 pounds for women.
    Your options: [ World War One ] [ Boer War ] [ Middle Ages ] [ Boxer Rebellion ]
  From Quiz: And Then You Run
35 "I am a discus thrower from Germany. I won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. I won the World Championships five times. Who am I?"
Answer: Lars Riedel

Lars Riedel was born on the 28th of June 1967 in Zwickau, Germany. At the start of his career he competed for East Germany, later for Germany (after the unification of East and West Germany). In 1991 he first won the World Championships in Tokyo. He would win four times more: 1993 in Stuttgart, 1995 in Gothenburg, 1997 in Athens and 2001 in Edmonton.

His biggest achievement was winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, defeating two discus throwers from Belarus: Vladimir Dubrovshchik (silver) and Vasily Kaptyukh (bronze). In 2012 he also competed in the fifth season of the German Let's Dance.
  From Quiz: Ditch The Discus
36 In 1995 Jonathan Edwards set a world record in the Triple Jump of 18.29 metres in Gothenburg, Sweden. What nationality is he?
Answer: British

Jonathan Edwards was born in 1966 in Windsor, England. At one point in 2002 he held the title (gold medals) in the four major athletics championships these being European (1998 Budapest), Olympic (2000 Sydney), World (2001 Edmonton) and Commonwealth (2002 Manchester). He also won gold medals at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg and the 1998 European Indoor Championships in Valencia. He retired in 2003 and became a sports commentator and presenter.
  From Quiz: Athletics Assortment
37 Carl Lewis has competed internationally in both track and field events. In which event did he set the world indoor record in 1984, and then win the next 65 times over a span of 10 years?
Answer: Long jump

Frederick Carlton Lewis won a total of 10 Olympic medals (with nine of those gold) between 1984 and 1996. He won medals in 100m, 200m, long jump, and the 4x100m relay. His only Olympic silver medal was won in Seoul (1988) for the 200m.

In 1984, Lewis set out to equal Jesse Owens' record of four track and field gold medals at the one Olympic games, which he did amid controversy of his winning of the long jump gold (he forfeited his last four jumps knowing he had won the gold with his first jump).

In oddities, Lewis has been drafted to both the NBA (Chicago Bulls, 1984) and the NFL (Dallas Cowboys, 1984) but didn't play for either team or in either competition.
    Your options: [ Long jump ] [ 200m ] [ 100m ] [ Triple jump ]
  From Quiz: Young, Gifted, and Black
38 In recent years African runners have dominated distance events, but before them Europe had its share of great athletes. Which Finn won the 5000 and 10,000 metres gold medals at both the 1972 and 1976 Olympics?
Answer: Lasse Viren

Lasse Viren and his coach had the knack of coming to peak performance for the Olympics. Although he had broken the 2 mile world record earlier in 1972 he came into the Munich Games very much an unknown quantity. In the 10,000 metres final, he broke Ron Clark's seven year old world record, a feat that is made all the more amazing by the fact that he fell on the twelfth lap and lost some 20/30 metres on the field which he had to make up. He was fairly quiet, racing in very few top level competitions, between 1972 and 1976, but again peaked for the Olympics, taking both golds and achieving the "double double". He retired after the 1980 games where he placed only fifth in the 10,000 metres.
Emil Zatopek, Czechoslovakia, Vladimir Kuts, Russia, and Hannes Kolehmainen, Finland, have also all won double Olympic gold for 5000 and 10,000 metres.
    Your options: [ Lasse Viren ] [ Vladimir Kuts ] [ Emil Zatopek ] [ Hannes Kolehmainen ]
  From Quiz: Going The Extra Mile
39 What best describes the actions taken in triple jump?
Answer: hop, step, jump

The most common descriptions of triple jump are 'hop skip jump' and 'hop step jump', but 'step' is a more accurate word than 'skip' to describe the motion.
  From Quiz: IAAF Track and Field: Pt 1
40 Which athlete won two gold medals at the 2004 Olympics?
Answer: Veronica Campbell

She won the 200m and the 4x100 with Jamaica. She also won bronze at the 100m.
    Your options: [ Karolina Klüft ] [ Veronica Campbell ] [ Tirunesh Dibaba ] [ Tatyana Lebedeva ]
  From Quiz: Female Athletes
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Track & Field Quizzes