The origin and history of relay running is still not widely known to the public. In fact, relay running can be a sport that is well known to the public and is competed in world sports championships, including the Olympics.
Relay is a competition (running or swimming) in teams by dividing the distance between the participants, at the end of each section they hand over an object (e.g. sticks, flags) to the next participant.
The relay run is done by means of each runner in the team having a strategy in the game in order to carry the baton to the finish line.
The Origins of Relay Running
Relay running was inspired by three tribes, namely the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans who held a mission using the continuous running technique or relay. The purpose of this mission is to convey important news to members of other tribes.
Apart from the three tribes above, relay running has also been carried out by the Ancient Greeks. The difference is, the Ancient Greeks used torches that were handed over to each other. Its purpose is as a form of spiritual worship or ancestral spirits.
From the two events above, relay running developed and became part of sports activities. In fact, the relay race was reported in the Olympics specifically under the name Olympic Torch Relay or the Olympic Torch Relay.
History of Relay Running
Relay running was first practiced in the United States in 1883. At that time, this type of running was only followed by men. Each runner must run a certain distance by carrying a flag which will be handed over to the next runner.
However, the use of flags is considered inefficient, so runners only need to touch the hands of the next runner before starting to run. Relay running first appeared at the Olympics in 1992, namely the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm Sweden.
In this Olympics, the distance set is 4 x 100 meters. In this Olympics, relay running is only followed by men with the same running technique until now.
Basic Techniques of Relay Running
Prefix Start Technique
The first runner in the relay race uses a squat start. This start begins by placing one hand behind the line, then the hand holding the stick is not allowed to touch the starting line. This technique must be done properly so that the runner does not get disqualified.
Stick Holding Technique
The baton is held at the end up to half with the right or left hand, while the other half is left to be held by the recipient of the next baton.
Handing and Receiving Stick Technique
In the relay race, there is the term Wissel. Wissel is a special area for handing and receiving sticks that are only 20 meters long. Runners must be able to use the area to change the stick quickly and accurately, otherwise, the handover of the stick outside the wissel will be disqualified. As for the technique of handing the stick, there are three kinds, namely down week, upsweep, and push pass techniques.
That’s information about relay running, from its origins to its history. Hopefully, this article can add insight to the loyal readers of kristinfrey.com.