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All-Round Athletics

ALL-ROUND ATHLETICS. Specialization in athletic sports, although always existent, is to a great extent a modern product. In ancient times athletes were encouraged to excel in several branches of sport, often quite opposite in character. Thus the athlete held in highest honour at the Olympic Games (see GAMES, CLASSICAL) was the winner of the pentathlon, which consisted of running, jumping, throwing the javelin and the discus, and wrestling. All-round championships have existed for many years both in Scotland and Ireland, and in America there are both national and sectional championships. The American national championship was instituted in 1888, the winner being the athlete who succeeds in obtaining the highest marks in the following eleven events; 100 yards run; putting 16 lb. shot; running high jump; half-mile walk; throwing 16 lb. hammer; 120 yards hurdle race; pole vault; throwing 56 lb. weight; one mile run; running broad jump; quarter-mile run. In each event 1000 points are allowed for equalling the "record," and an increasing number of points is taken off for performances below "record," down to a certain "standard,', below which the competitor scores nothing. For example, in the 100 yards run the time of 9 4/5 seconds represents 1000 points; that of 10 seconds scores 958, or 42 points less; 10 1/5 seconds scores 916, etc.; and below 14 1/5 seconds the competitor scores nothing. Should the record be broken 42 points are added for each 1/5 second. (See also ATHLETIC SPORTS.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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