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110 M Hurdles


110 M Hurdles

Template:Infobox athletics event The 110 metres hurdles is a hurdling track and field event for men. It is included in the athletics programme at the Summer Olympic Games. The female counterpart is the 100 metres hurdles. As part of a racing event, ten hurdles of 1.067 metres (3.5 ft or 42 inches) in height are evenly spaced along a straight course of 110 metres. They are positioned so that they will fall over if bumped into by the runner. Fallen hurdles do not carry a fixed time penalty for the runners, but they have a significant pull-over weight which slows down the run. Like the 100 metres sprint, the 110 metres hurdles begins in the starting blocks.

For the 110 metre hurdles, the first hurdle is placed after a run-up of 13.72 metres (45 ft) from the starting line. The next nine hurdles are set at a distance of 9.14 metres (30 ft) from each other, and the home stretch from the last hurdle to the finish line is 14.02 metres (46 ft) long.

The Olympic Games have included the 110 metre hurdles in their program since 1896. The equivalent hurdles race for women was run over a course of 80 metres from 1932 to 1968. Starting with the 1972 Summer Olympics, the women's race was set at 100 metres. In the early 20th century, the race was often contested as 120 yard hurdles.

The fastest 110 metre hurdlers run the distance in around 13 seconds. Aries Merritt of the United States holds the current world record of 12.80 seconds, set at the Memorial Van Damme meet on 7 September 2012 in Belgium.


For the first hurdles races in England around 1830, wooden barriers were placed along a stretch of 100 yards (91.44 m).

The first standards were attempted in 1864 in Oxford and Cambridge: The length of the course was set to 120 yards (109.7 m) and over its course, runners were required to clear ten 3 foot 6 inch (1.07 m) high hurdles. The height and spacing of the hurdles have been related to Imperial units ever since. After the length of the course was rounded up to 110 metres in France in 1888, the standards were pretty much complete (except for Germany where 1 metre high hurdles were used until 1907).

The massively constructed hurdles of the early days were first replaced in 1895 with somewhat lighter T-shaped hurdles that runners were able to knock over. However, until 1935 runners were disqualified if they knocked down more than three hurdles, and records were only recognized if the runner had left all hurdles standing.

In 1935 the T-shaped hurdles were replaced by L-shaped ones that easily fall forward if bumped into and therefore reduce the risk of injury. However those hurdles are weighted so it is disadvantageous to hit them.

The current running style where the first hurdle is taken on the run with the upper body lowered instead of being jumped over and with three steps each between the hurdles was first used by the 1900 Olympic champion, Alvin Kraenzlein.

The 110 metre hurdles have been an Olympic discipline since 1896. Women ran it occasionally in the 1920s but it never became generally accepted. From 1926 on, women have only run the 80 metre hurdles which was increased to 100 metres starting in 1961 on a trial basis and in 1969 in official competition.

In 1900 and 1904, the Olympics also included a 200 metre hurdles race, and the IAAF recognized world records for the 200 metre hurdles until 1960. Don Styron held the world record in the event for over 50 years until Andy Turner broke the record in a specially arranged race at the Manchester City Games in 2010. Styron still holds the world record in the 220 yard low hurdles.

Strides to Hurdle Success

The sprint hurdles are a very rhythmic race because both men and women take 3 steps (meaning 4 foot strikes) between each hurdle, no matter whether running 110/100 meters outdoors, or the shorter distances indoors (55 or 60 meters). In addition, the distance from the starting line to the first hurdle - while shorter for women - is constant for both sexes whether indoors or outdoors, so sprint hurdlers do not need to change their stride pattern between indoor and outdoor seasons. One difference between indoor and outdoors is the shorter finishing distance from the last (5th) hurdle indoors, compared to longer distance from the last (10th) hurdle outdoors to the finish line.

Top male hurdlers traditionally took 8 strides from the starting blocks to the first hurdle (indoors and outdoors). The 8-step start persisted from (at least) the 1950s to the end of the 20th century and included such World- and Olympic champions as Harrison Dillard, Rod Milburn, Greg Foster, Renaldo Nehemiah, Roger Kingdom, Allen Johnson, Mark Crear, Mark McCoy, and Colin Jackson. However, beginning in the 2000s, some hurdle coaches embraced a transition to a faster 7-step start, teaching the men to lengthen their first few strides out of the starting blocks. Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles set his 2008 world record of 12.87 using a 7-step start. Chinese star Liu Xiang won the 2004 Olympics and broke the world record in 2006 utilizing an 8-step approach, but he switched to 7-steps by the 2011 outdoor season. After the 2010 outdoor season, American Jason Richardson trained to switch to a 7-step start and went on to win the 2011 World Championship. American Aries Merritt trained in Fall 2011 to switch from 8 to 7, and then had his greatest outdoor season in 2012 - running 8 races in under 13 seconds - capped by winning the London 2012 Olympics and then setting a world record of 12.80.[1]

Of the 10 men with the fastest 110m hurdle times in 2012, seven used 7-steps, including the top 4: Aries Merritt, Liu Xiang, Jason Richardson, and David Oliver. Hurdle technique experts believe the off-season training required to produce the power and speed necessary to reach the first hurdle in 7 steps, yields greater endurance over the last half of the race. That added endurance allows hurdlers to maintain their top speed to the finish, resulting in a faster time.


Progression of world records

All-time top 25 athletes

Updated June 2013

Rank Time Wind (m/s) Athlete Date Location Ref
1 12.80 +0.3  Aries Merritt (USA) 7 September 2012 Brussels [2]
2 12.87 +0.9  Dayron Robles (CUB) 12 June 2008 Ostrava
3 12.88 +1.1  Liu Xiang (CHN) 11 July 2006 Lausanne
4 12.89 +0.5  David Oliver (USA) 16 July 2010 Paris
5 12.90 +1.1  Dominique Arnold (USA) 11 July 2006 Lausanne
6 12.91 +0.5  Colin Jackson (GBR) 20 August 1993 Stuttgart
7 12.92 −0.1  Roger Kingdom (USA) 16 August 1989 Zürich
+0.9  Allen Johnson (USA) 23 June 1996 Atlanta
9 12.93 −0.2  Renaldo Nehemiah (USA) 19 August 1981 Zürich
10 12.94 +1.6  Jack Pierce (USA) 22 June 1996 Atlanta
11 12.95 +1.5  Terrence Trammell (USA) 2 June 2007 New York City
12 12.97 +1.0  Ladji Doucoure (FRA) 15 July 2005 Angers
13 12.98 +0.6  Mark Crear (USA) 5 July 1999 Zagreb
+1.5  Jason Richardson (USA) 30 June 2012 Eugene
15 13.00 +0.5  Tony Jarrett (GBR) 20 August 1993 Stuttgart
+0.6  Anier Garcia (CUB) 25 September 2000 Sydney
17 13.01 +0.3  Larry Wade (USA) 2 July 1999 Lausanne
18 13.02 +1.5  Ryan Wilson (USA) 2 June 2007 New York City
+1.7  David Payne (USA) 31 August 2007 Osaka
20 13.03 -0.2  Greg Foster (USA) 19 August 1981 Zurich
+1.0  Reggie Torian (USA) 21 June 1998 New Orleans
22 13.05 +1.4  Tony Dees (USA) 23 July 1991 Vigo
-0.8  Florian Schwarthoff (GER) 2 July 1995 Bremen
+0.9  Hansle Parchment (JAM) 1 June 2013 Eugene [3]
25 13.08 +1.2  Mark McKoy (CAN) 2 July 1993 Villeneuve d'Ascq
0.0  Stanislavs Olijars (LAT) 1 July 2003 Lausanne
+1.2  Jeff Porter (USA) 20 June 2012 Eugene
+0.9  Orlando Ortega (CUB) 1 June 2013 Eugene [4]

Most successful athletes

Athletes with two or more victories at the Olympic Games & World Championships:

5 wins:

  • Allen Johnson has won the most 110 m hurdles titles at Olympic and World level, one Olympic (1996) & four World (1995,1997, 2001, 2003)

3 wins:

  • Greg Foster, three World Championship titles, 1983, 1987 & 1991 (also won Olympic silver in 1984)

2 wins:

  • Lee Calhoun (USA), two Olympic victories, 1956, 1960
  • Roger Kingdom (USA), two Olympic victories, 1984 and 1988
  • Colin Jackson (GBR), two World Championship victories, 1993 and 1999 (also won Olympic Silver in 1988)
  • Liu Xiang (CHN), Olympic, 2004, World, 2007

110m Hurdles medalists at the Olympic Games

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens  Thomas Curtis (USA)  Grantley Goulding (GBR) none awarded
1900 Paris  Alvin Kraenzlein (USA)  John McLean (USA)  Fred Moloney (USA)
1904 St. Louis  Fred Schule (USA)  Thaddeus Schideler (USA)  Lesley Ashburner (USA)
1908 London  Forrest Smithson (USA)  John Garrels (USA)  Arthur Shaw (USA)
1912 Stockholm  Fred Kelly (USA)  James Wendell (USA)  Martin Hawkins (USA)
1920 Antwerp  Earl Thomson (CAN)  Harold Barron (USA)  Feg Murray (USA)
1924 Paris  Daniel Kinsey (USA)  Sydney Atkinson (RSA)  Sten Pettersson (SWE)
1928 Amsterdam  Sydney Atkinson (RSA)  Steve Anderson (USA)  John Collier (USA)
1932 Los Angeles  George Saling (USA)  Percy Beard (USA)  Don Finlay (GBR)
1936 Berlin  Forrest Towns (USA)  Don Finlay (GBR)  Fritz Pollard (USA)
1948 London  William Porter (USA)  Clyde Scott (USA)  Craig Dixon (USA)
1952 Helsinki  Harrison Dillard (USA)  Jack Davis (USA)  Arthur Barnard (USA)
1956 Melbourne  Lee Calhoun (USA)  Jack Davis (USA)  Joel Shankle (USA)
1960 Rome  Lee Calhoun (USA)  Willie May (USA)  Hayes Jones (USA)
1964 Tokyo  Hayes Jones (USA)  Blaine Lindgren (USA)  Anatoly Mikhailov (URS)
1968 Mexico City  Willie Davenport (USA)  Ervin Hall (USA)  Eddy Ottoz (ITA)
1972 Munich  Rod Milburn (USA)  Guy Drut (FRA)  Thomas Hill (USA)
1976 Montreal  Guy Drut (FRA)  Alejandro Casañas (CUB)  Willie Davenport (USA)
1980 Moscow  Thomas Munkelt (GDR)  Alejandro Casañas (CUB)  Aleksandr Puchkov (URS)
1984 Los Angeles  Roger Kingdom (USA)  Greg Foster (USA)  Arto Bryggare (FIN)
1988 Seoul  Roger Kingdom (USA)  Colin Jackson (GBR)  Tonie Campbell (USA)
1992 Barcelona  Mark McKoy (CAN)  Tony Dees (USA)  Jack Pierce (USA)
1996 Atlanta  Allen Johnson (USA)  Mark Crear (USA)  Florian Schwarthoff (GER)
2000 Sydney  Anier García (CUB)  Terrence Trammell (USA)  Mark Crear (USA)
2004 Athens  Liu Xiang (CHN)  Terrence Trammell (USA)  Anier García (CUB)
2008 Beijing  Dayron Robles (CUB)  David Payne (USA)  David Oliver (USA)
2012 London  Aries Merritt (USA)  Jason Richardson (USA)  Hansle Parchment (JAM)

110m Hurdles medalists at World championships

Games Gold Silver Bronze
Helsinki 1983 United States Greg Foster Finland Arto Bryggare United StatesWillie Gault
Rome 1987 United States Greg Foster United Kingdom Jon Ridgeon United Kingdom Colin Jackson
Tokyo 1991 United States Greg Foster United States Jack Pierce United Kingdom Tony Jarrett
Stuttgart 1993 United Kingdom Colin Jackson United Kingdom Tony Jarrett United States Jack Pierce
Gothenburg 1995 United States Allen Johnson United Kingdom Tony Jarrett United States Roger Kingdom
Athens 1997 United States Allen Johnson United Kingdom Colin Jackson Slovakia Igor Kováč
Seville 1999 United Kingdom Colin Jackson Cuba Anier Garcia United States Duane Ross
Edmonton 2001 United States Allen Johnson Cuba Anier Garcia Haiti Dudley Dorival
Paris 2003 United States Allen Johnson United States Terrence Trammell China Liu Xiang
Helsinki 2005 France Ladji Doucoure China Liu Xiang United States Allen Johnson
Osaka 2007 China Liu Xiang United States Terrence Trammell United States David Payne
Berlin 2009 Barbados Ryan Brathwaite United States Terrence Trammell United States David Payne
Daegu 2011 United States Jason Richardson China Liu Xiang United Kingdom Andy Turner

Best Year Performance

Men's Seasons Best

Year Time Athlete Location Ref
1966 13.47  Willie Davenport (USA) New York City
1967 13.43  Earl McCullouch (USA) Minneapolis
1968 13.33  Willie Davenport (USA) Mexico City
1969 13.45  Willie Davenport (USA)
 Leon Coleman (USA)
1970 13.42  Thomas Hill (USA) Bakersfield
1971 13.46  Rod Milburn (USA) Cali
1972 13.24  Rod Milburn (USA) Munich
1973 13.41  Rod Milburn (USA) Zürich
1974 13.40  Guy Drut (FRA) Rome
1975 13.28  Guy Drut (FRA) Saint-Étienne
1976 13.30  Guy Drut (FRA) Montreal
1977 13.21  Alejandro Casañas (CUB) Sofia
1978 13.22  Greg Foster (USA) Eugene
1979 13.00  Renaldo Nehemiah (USA) Westwood
1980 13.21  Renaldo Nehemiah (USA) Zürich
1981 12.93  Renaldo Nehemiah (USA) Zürich
1982 13.22  Greg Foster (USA) Koblenz
1983 13.11  Greg Foster (USA) Westwood
1984 13.15  Greg Foster (USA) Zürich
1985 13.14  Roger Kingdom (USA) Modesto
1986 13.20  Stéphane Caristan (FRA) Stuttgart
1987 13.17  Greg Foster (USA) Lausanne
1988 12.97  Roger Kingdom (USA) Sestriere
1989 12.92  Roger Kingdom (USA) Zürich
1990 13.08  Colin Jackson (GBR) Auckland
1991 13.05  Tony Dees (USA) Vigo
1992 13.04  Colin Jackson (GBR) Cologne
1993 12.91  Colin Jackson (GBR) Stuttgart
1994 12.98  Colin Jackson (GBR) Tokyo
1995 12.98  Allen Johnson (USA) Cologne
1996 12.92  Allen Johnson (USA) Atlanta
1997 12.93  Allen Johnson (USA) Athens
1998 12.98  Allen Johnson (USA) Zürich
1999 12.98  Mark Crear (USA) Zagreb
2000 12.97  Allen Johnson (USA) Sacramento
2001 13.04  Allen Johnson (USA) Edmonton
2002 13.03  Anier García (CUB) Lausanne
2003 12.97  Allen Johnson (USA) Saint-Denis
2004 12.91  Liu Xiang (CHN) Athens
2005 12.97  Ladji Doucouré (FRA) Angers
2006 12.88  Liu Xiang (CHN) Lausanne
2007 12.92  Liu Xiang (CHN)
 Dayron Robles (CUB)
New York City
2008 12.87  Dayron Robles (CUB) Ostrava
2009 13.04  Dayron Robles (CUB) Ostrava
2010 12.89  David Oliver (USA) Saint-Denis [5][6]
2011 12.94  David Oliver (USA) Eugene
2012 12.80  Aries Merritt (USA) Brussels


Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent German-language World Heritage Encyclopedia article (retrieved February 5, 2006).

For extensive Men's High Hurdles records, please see High Hurdle Stats

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