Track and field may be the most Olympic of all the sports at the Tokyo Olympics. After all, running events and the pentathlon were central to the Ancient Olympic Games, which the Modern Olympics are founded upon.
Track and field (known as athletics to most of the world) is comprised of track events such as: sprints, middle-distance and long-distance races for men and women; hurdles and steeplechase races; and relays. The field events include high jump and pole vault, long jump and triple jump, discus throw, hammer throw, javelin throw and shot put. Marathon and race walking make up the road events. And there are the decathlon and heptathlon, which combine several of the disciplines.
Team USA looks to show strong at Tokyo Olympics track and field competitions. Sydney McLaughlin and teammate Dalilah Muhammad will vie for gold in the women's 400-meter hurdles. Noah Lyles is the the top-ranked sprinter in the world and reigning world champion in the men's 200 meters. And Allyson Felix is making her ninth and final Olympics appearance in the women's 400 meters, plus possibly the women's 4x400 and the brand-new mixed gender 4x400 meters.
Here's everything you need to watch track and field at the Tokyo Olympics, including the schedule of medal events.
- Looking to watch free Tokyo Olympics 2021 live streams?
- How to watch tennis at Tokyo Olympics: Schedule, channels and more
- Plus: How to watch the Team USA vs Turkey volleyball live streams
How to watch track and field at the Tokyo Olympics from anywhere in the world
The Olympics is a global event and can be viewed in almost every country on Earth. However, if you're not in your home country and can't watch the Tokyo Olympics' track and field events with your usual services — or you want to watch in your native language — you're not out of luck.
With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. They're totally legal, inexpensive and easy to use.
Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well.
We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. Plus, its 30-day money-back guarantee is a good perk.
Using a VPN is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice. As we've said, ExpressVPN is our favorite.
2. Choose the location you wish to connect to in the VPN app. For instance if you're in the U.S. and want to view a U.K. service, you'd select U.K. from the list.
3. Sit back and enjoy the action. Head to your website or streaming service of choice and tune in.
How to watch track and field at the Tokyo Olympics live in the US
Watching track and field events from the Tokyo Olympics live may require you to be up late (or wake up very early) and have a cable login, because NBCOlympics.com requires one.
Coverage on Peacock may include live streaming of track and field as well as nightly highlights.
Primetime coverage of Tokyo Olympics track and field will be broadcast primarily on NBC, but also on NBCSN and CNBC.
All three of those networks are part of the $35 per month Sling TV Blue package. The Olympic Channel is also available as a $11 per month add-on.
In addition to the Olympics live streams, Peacock also has huge library of licensed content drawn from various brands. That includes shows like 30 Rock, The Voice, Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order: SVU and This Is Us.
Sling TV: You can get NBC, USA and NBCSN in the Sling Blue package, which is $35/month — plus the Olympic Channel in the Sports Extra package ($11 per month extra).
How to watch athletics at the Tokyo Olympics in the UK
What's called track and field in the U.S. is called athletics in most other places. To watch every athletics event live in the UK, Brits will want to subscribe to Discovery Plus, which is offering full coverage of Tokyo 2020.
Discovery is currently offering a three-day free trial of the service, with full subscriptions available for £6.99/month or £29.99/year after that. Plus, the service is available to stream through a multitude of devices include Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV and apps for iOS and Android.
The BBC iPlayer has been the go-to source for all Olympics coverage for those in the U.K., but things have changed.
The BBC no longer has the monopoly on Olympics coverage in the U.K., after the IOC sold the main European rights to the Discovery network. As a result, the BBC's coverage, though still good, is limited to no more than two live events at one time.
Americans abroad can just use the service of their choice, provided they log in via a VPN such as ExpressVPN.
How to watch athletics at the Tokyo Olympics live in Canada
Sportsnet, CBC and TSN are sharing coverage of the Olympics, so Canadians can find live and tape-delayed coverage of athletics events on those channels.
Again, Americans visiting their friends in the great white north could just use Peacock, Sling, Fubo and other services, provided they log in via a VPN such as ExpressVPN.
How to watch athletics at the Tokyo Olympics live in Australia
Down Under, Aussies can watch the Olympic athletics events for FREE on the 7Plus network's streaming service — which has practically everything in the Olympics. Just add 14 hours to the Eastern times listed below to figure out when games start in AEST.
Currently out of the country? Use ExpressVPN to access your paid-for services.
Tokyo Olympics track and field schedule
Preliminary heats and semifinals begin streaming Thursday evening in the U.S. Here's a schedule of the gold medal finals in all track and field events (all times Eastern Time):
Friday, July 30
7:30 a.m. - Men's 10,000m Final
Saturday, July 31
7:15 a.m. - Men's Discus Throw Final
8:35 a.m. - 4x400 Relay Mixed Final
8:50 a.m. - Women's 100m Final
9:35 p.m. - Women's Shot Put Final
Sunday, August 1
6:10 a.m. - Men's High Jump Final
7:15 a.m. - Women's Triple Jump Final
8:50 a.m. - Men's 100m Final
9:20 p.m. - Men's Long Jump Final
10:50 p.m. - Women's 100m Hurdles Final
Monday, August 2
7:00 a.m. - Women's Discus Throw Final
8:15 a.m. - Men's 3000m Steeplechase Final
8:40 a.m. - Women's 5000m Final
9:50 p.m. - Women's Long Jump Final
11:20 p.m. - Men's 400m Hurdles Final
Tuesday, August 3
6:20 a.m. - Men's Pole Vault Final
7:35 a.m. - Women's Hammer Throw Final
8:25 a.m. - Women's 800m Final
8:50 a.m. - Women's 200m Final
10:30 p.m. - Women's 400m Hurdles Final
Wednesday, August 4
7:00 a.m. - Women's 3000m Steeplechase Final
7:15 a.m. - Men's Hammer Throw Final
8:05 a.m. - Men's 800m Final
8:55 a.m. - Men's 200m Final
10:00 p.m. - Men's Triple Jump Final
10:05 p.m. - Men's Shot Put Final
10:55 p.m. - Men's 110m Hurdles Final
Thursday, August 5
3:30 a.m. - Men's 20km Race Walk Final
6:20 a.m. - Women's Pole Vault Final
8:00 a.m. - Men's 400m Final
4:30 p.m. - Men's 50km Race Walk Final
Friday, August 6
3:30 a.m. - Women's 20km Race Walk Final
7:50 a.m. - Women's Javelin Throw Final
8:00 a.m. - Men's 5000m Final
8:35 a.m. - Women's 400m Final
8:50 a.m. - Women's 1500m Final
9:30 a.m. - Women's 4x100m Relay Final
9:50 a.m. - Men's 4x100m Relay Final
6:00 p.m. - Women's Marathon Final
Saturday, August 7
6:35 a.m. - Women's High Jump Final
6:45 a.m. - Women's 10,000m Final
7:00 a.m. - Men's Javelin Throw Final
7:40 a.m. - Men's 1500m Final
8:30 a.m. - Women's 4x400 Relay Final
8:50 a.m. - Men's 4x400 Relay Final
7:00 p.m. - Men's Marathon Final
- Read next: The best streaming devices, ranked