Track and Field Athletics is the most universally known and practised of all sports. Its modern forms emerged for the most part around 1860 in Great Britain and USA. Its coming of age was accelerated with the revival of the Olympic Games (Athens 1896) and the foundation of the IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) in Berlin, 1913. The latter is the governing body of the sport with over 200 affiliated countries, still with the same letterhead which now stands for International Association of Athletics Federations. The sprints - 100, 200 metres, 4X100 metres relay - may be described as the "stellar events" of athletics, those in which human beings express the maximum of velocity, and as such popular under all latitudes. "Who won the 100 metres in the Olympics?" is probably the very question any athletics enthusiast is most frequently asked by outsiders. This book chronicles and comments the evolution of the sprint events from Bernard Wefers, probably the fastest man of the 20th century, to Jesse Owens "The Incomparable" and Michael Johnson, whose world's 200 metres record of 19.32 expresses the highest speed (37.2
67 Km/hr) ever attained by a man in race from a standing start. Attention is also devoted to the parallel evolution of the 4X100 m. relay. Women's sprint races have a shorter history which is nonetheless related in detail. As in most of RLQ's works, one finds throughout the book many asides devoted to sundry episodes emanating from the history of this fascinating department. Gustavo Pallicca, a great athletics enthusiast and a keen observer, offers valuable contributions of his own (always denoted with his initials) on the vital subjects of starting and timing, drawn from his long experience as an international starter. This work features a World Year List and All Time Lists for both men and women at the end of any given period. All runners and other relevant authorities are mentioned in the text.