Sprint hurdles at the Olympics
The sprint hurdles at the Summer Olympics have been contested over a variety of distances at the multi-sport event. The men's 110 metres hurdles has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since the first edition in 1896. A men's 200 metres hurdles was also briefly held, from 1900 to 1904. The first women's sprint hurdling event was added to the programme at the 1932 Olympics in the form of the 80 metres hurdles. At the 1972 Games the women's distance was extended to the 100 metres hurdles, which is the current international standard.
at the Olympic Games
The 2008 Olympic men's 110 m hurdles semi-final
|Gender||Men and women|
|Years held||Men 110 m: 1896 – 2016 |
Men 200 m: 1900 – 1904
Women 80 m: 1932 – 1968
Women 100 m: 1972 – 2016
|Men||12.91 Liu Xiang (2004)|
|Women||12.35 Sally Pearson (2012)|
|Men||Omar McLeod (JAM)|
|Women||Brianna Rollins (USA)|
The Olympic records are 12.91 seconds for the men's 110 m hurdles, set by Liu Xiang in 2004, and 12.35 seconds for the women's 100 m hurdles, set by Sally Pearson in 2012. The fastest time recorded at the Olympics for the men's 200 m hurdles was 24.6 seconds by 1904 winner Harry Hillman. Maureen Caird won the last women's Olympic 80 m hurdles race in 1968 with a record of 10.39 seconds. The men's 110 m hurdles world record has been broken at the Olympics on six occasions: 1908, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1972 and 2004. The women's 100 m hurdles world record has been broken only once, by Annelie Ehrhardt at the inaugural 1972 Olympic final. In contrast the 80 m hurdles world record was set at the Olympics in 1932 (four times), 1936, and 1952 (twice).
Only three athletes have won two Olympic sprint hurdles gold medals: on the men's side, Lee Calhoun and Roger Kingdom, and on the women's side Shirley Strickland. Strickland is also the only athlete to win three such Olympic medals, having won a bronze medal before her victories. Alvin Kraenzlein is the only athlete to have won two hurdles medals at the same Olympics, having taken the 110 m and 200 m titles. Historically, hurdlers also competed in other individual sprinting events (Harrison Dillard and Fanny Blankers-Koen were also 100 metres Olympic champions), but this became rare after the 1950s.
The United States has dominated the men's event: with 19 gold medals and 56 medals in total, the nation won over half the available medals in the history of the competition. The United States has swept the medals on eight occasions and an American man has been on the podium every edition except the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Though less dominant in the women's events, the U.S. also has the most number of women's gold medals, with four.
Men's 110 metres hurdlesEdit
|1||Lee Calhoun||United States (USA)||1952–1956||2||0||0||2|
|Roger Kingdom||United States (USA)||1984–1988||2||0||0||2|
|3||Sydney Atkinson||South Africa (RSA)||1924–1928||1||1||0||2|
|Guy Drut||France (FRA)||1972–1976||1||1||0||2|
|5||Hayes Jones||United States (USA)||1960–1964||1||0||1||2|
|Willie Davenport||United States (USA)||1968–1976||1||0||1||2|
|Anier Garcia||Cuba (CUB)||2000–2004||1||0||1||2|
|8||Jack Davis||United States (USA)||1952–1956||0||2||0||2|
|Alejandro Casanas||Cuba (CUB)||1976–1980||0||2||0||2|
|Terrence Trammell||United States (USA)||2000–2004||0||2||0||2|
|11||Don Finlay||Great Britain (GBR)||1932–1936||0||1||1||2|
|Mark Crear||United States (USA)||1996–2000||0||1||1||2|
Medals by countryEdit
|1||United States (USA)||19||20||17||56|
|South Africa (RSA)||1||1||0||2|
|East Germany (GDR)||1||0||0||1|
|9||Great Britain (GBR)||0||3||1||4|
|10||Soviet Union (URS)||0||0||2||2|
Women's 80 metres hurdlesEdit
|1||Shirley Strickland||Australia (AUS)||1948–1956||2||0||1||3|
|2||Gisela Birkemeyer||United Team of Germany (EUA)||1956–1960||0||1||1||2|
|Pam Kilborn||Australia (AUS)||1964–1968||0||1||1||2|
Medalists by countryEdit
|3||Soviet Union (URS)||1||1||0||2|
|United States (USA)||1||1||0||2|
|7||Great Britain (GBR)||0||2||0||2|
|Republic of China (ROC)||0||0||1||1|
|South Africa (RSA)||0||0||1||1|
- nb The German total includes teams both competing as Germany and the United Team of Germany, but not East or West Germany.
Women's 100 metres hurdlesEdit
|1||Johanna Schaller||East Germany (GDR)||1976–1980||1||1||0||2|
|Sally Pearson||Australia (AUS)||2008–2012||1||1||0||2|
|Dawn Harper||United States (USA)||2008–2012||1||1||0||2|
|4||Yordanka Donkova||Bulgaria (BUL)||1988–1992||1||0||1||2|
|5||Melissa Morrison||United States (USA)||2000–2004||0||1||1||2|
Medalists by countryEdit
|1||United States (USA)||3||2||4||9|
|2||East Germany (GDR)||2||2||1||5|
|3||Soviet Union (URS)||1||1||1||3|
|9||Great Britain (GBR)||0||1||0||1|
|West Germany (FRG)||0||0||1||1|
200 metres hurdlesEdit
For a brief period, a men's Olympic 200 metres low hurdles race was held. It was a relatively common event in the early 1900s. With only two appearances in 1900 and 1904, the event's removal as an Olympic event marked the beginning of a steady decline of its popularity over the course of the 20th century and it is now a rarity. The 1900 event was won by Alvin Kraenzlein, who won four gold medals that year, including the 110 m hurdles title. The second and final 200 m hurdles champion, Harry Hillman, was again a multiple gold medallist, as the American won the 400 metres sprint and 400 metres hurdles Olympic titles at that games.
||Alvin Kraenzlein (USA)||Norman Pritchard (IND)||Walter Tewksbury (USA)|
|1904 St. Louis
||Harry Hillman (USA)||Frank Castleman (USA)||George Poage (USA)|
The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.
At this event a men's 110 m hurdles race was held. For the top two finishers, American hurdler Robert Leavitt and British athlete Alfred Healey, this was the peak of their respective careers. Bronze medalist Vincent Duncker of Germany was the joint 100 metres world record holder at the time.
||Robert Leavitt (USA)||Alfred Healey (GBR)||Vincent Duncker (GER)|
- Participation and athlete data
- Men's 200 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Men's 110 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Women's 100 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Women's 80 metres Hurdles Medalists. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Olympic record progressions
- Mallon, Bill (2012). TRACK & FIELD ATHLETICS - OLYMPIC RECORD PROGRESSIONS. Track and Field News. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- "13th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Daegu 2011. (Part 5 of 5)". Monte Carlo: IAAF Media & Public Relations Department. 2011. pp. 546, 553, 595, 697, 698. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
- Women, 80 m Hurdles > World Records Progression. Brinkster. Retrieved on 2014-06-28.
- Al Kraenzlein. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-08.
- Harry Hillman. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-08.
- 1906 Athina Summer Games. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's 110 metres Hurdles. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
- Men, 100 m > World Records Progression. Brinkster Track and Field. Retrieved on 2014-02-02.