100 metre hurdles


100 metre hurdles

The 100 m hurdles are an Olympic track and field athletics discipline run by women. For the race ten hurdles of a height of 83.8 cm (2 feet 9 inches) are placed evenly spaced along a straight course of 100 meters. They are positioned so that they will fall over if bumped into by the runner. Fallen hurdles don't count against runners so long as they don't run into them on purpose. Like the 100 meter sprint the 100 m hurdles is started out of the blocks.

For the 100 m hurdles the first hurdle is placed after a run-up of 13 meters from the starting line. The next 9 hurdles are set at a distance of 8.5 meters from each other, and the home stretch from the last hurdle to the finish line is 10.5 meters long.

The Olympic Games had included the 80 m hurdles in the program from 1932 to 1968. Starting with the 1972 Summer Olympics the women's race was lengthened to 100 m hurdles.

The fastest 100 m hurdlers run the distance in a time of around 12.5 seconds. The world record set by Yordanka Donkova stands at 12.21 seconds, the equivalent of 8.19 meters per second or 29.48 kilometers per hour. This is 1.72 seconds slower than the straight 100 meter sprint race.

History

The hurdles sprint race has been run by women since the beginning of women's athletics, just after the end of World War I. The distances and hurdle heights varied widely in the beginning. While the men had zeroed in on the 110 m hurdles, the International Women's Sport Federation had registered records for eight different disciplines by 1926 (60 yards/75 cm height, 60 yards/61 cm, 65 yards/75 cm, 83 yards/75 cm, 100 yards/75 cm, 100 yards/61 cm, 120 yards/75 cm, 110 meters/75 cm). At the first Women's World Games in 1922 a 100 m hurdles race was run.

From 1926 until 1968 on only the 80 m distance was run. For the 80 m race women had to clear eight hurdles placed at a distance of 8 meters from each other and a height of 76.2 cm.

Just like with the men's races, until 1935 no more than three hurdles could be knocked over (or the runner was disqualified) and records were only officially registered if the runner had cleared all her hurdles clean. In 1935, this rule was abandoned, and L-shaped hurdles were introduced that fell over forward easily and greatly reduced the risk of injury to the runner.

The 80 m hurdles was on the list of women's sports demanded by the International Women's Sport Federation for the Olympic Summer Games in 1928, but wasn't included as an Olympic discipline until 1932. Starting with 1949 the 80 m hurdles was one of the disciplines included in the women's Pentathlon.

During the 1960s some experimental races were run over a distance of 100 meters using hurdles with a height of 76.2cm. During the 1968 Summer Olympics a decision was made to introduce the 100 m hurdles using hurdles with a height of 84cm and the first international event in the 100 m hurdles occurred at the European Athletics Championships, which were won by Karin Balzer, GDR.

A summary of the 80 m hurdles as it compares to the 100 m hurdles:

100 m hurdles medalists at world championships

All-Time Top Ten

In brackets: Wind in m/s

Best Year Performance

References

*Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent German-language Wikipedia article (retrieved February 13, 2006).
* [http://hem.bredband.net/athletics/atb-d16.htm All-Time List]
* [http://www.apulanta.fi/matti/yu/ytbyeve_Women.html#100m_h Year Lists]


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