Présentation de l'éditeur
"A book which will very soon be recognised as the athletics volume of the century" So wrote Harold M. Abrahams in his foreword to Roberto Quercetani's first world history of modern athletics, published by Oxford University Press, London, in 1964. Half a century later, those words by the Olympic 100 metre champion of 1924 as well as one of Britain's foremost authorities on the sport, sound well nigh prophetic. Here is the updated version of Quercetani's pristine work published in the early 2000's which has so far appeared in five languages. Track and field athletics is the most universally known and practised of all sports. Its modern forms began to emerge after the middle of the XIX century, in British, Irish and American clubs and colleges. Its coming of age was accelerated with the revival of the Olympic Games (Athens 1896) and the foundation in 1913 of the IAAF (International Amateur Athletics Federation, since 2001 International Association of Athletics Federations), which is still the governing body of the sport. After World War 2 the development of athletics was gradually and increasingly affected by economic and political factors. While gaining in stature all over the world, the sport met new problems, some of which seem to be rather thorny. Geographically track and field has expanded to cover virtually every corner of the globe. Women's athletics became a factor around 1920 and began to expand in the Fifties. Its programme now covers virtually the whole spectrum of men's events, apart from some differences in the implements used. This book tells the story of track and field from 1860 to date, not without hints on previous endeavours which are part of what we may call the pre-history of the sport. Each chapter covers a given period of time and recalls facts and figures in their multiform human, competitive and technical aspects, for both men and women. Periodically through the book one finds little asides devoted to curious episodes emanating from the myriad of facts of this most varied of sports. Finally the Statistics of All-Time World Lists (Men and Women) 1860 - 2013
Biographie de l'auteur
Roberto L. Quercetani has been for many years one of the most well-known journalists at the international level, active in track and field athletics. An enthusiast for historical and statistical details, in 1950 he was one of the founders of the ATFS (Association of Track and Field Statisticians), which constitutes the most authoritative reference source for all those who want to find their way through the jungle of facts and figures which are part and parcel of the sport. He was president of the ATFS from 1950 to 1968 and is still a member of its Executive Committee. He has edited from 1948 onwards many historical and statistical books on track and field athletics. As a sport journalist he covered many of the major international meets held throughout this period all over the world.