Technique and timing are crucial in the men’s 110m hurdles, a track discipline which involves jumping over 10 barriers. The long-distance equivalent of a hurdle race is the steeplechase.
Not only does an athlete have to be quick in order to succeed in the 110m hurdles, they have to have the balance and technique to be able to jump over obstacles with minimal effort.
Athletes typically have a predetermined amount of steps they take between hurdles to prevent any stutter steps or hesitation in approaching the barriers. If the distance between the hurdles is changed, sprinters’ rhythm will almost certainly be thrown off, evident in the featured video, seen above.
According to Track Arena, race officials at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, hosted by Ohio State University on April 23, misplaced the seventh hurdle. Just two of the seven athletes finished the race, and according to the video, section one of the event was re-run later in the day. There are 10 barriers in the men’s 110m hurdles discipline.
Some of the best hurdlers in the world knock over the barriers as they sprint but not hard enough to slow them down. There is no time penalty for “accidentally” hitting the barriers though its not advantageous to simply “run through them” as they’re weighted. “Intentionally” hitting the barriers or passing under them, however, is worthy of disqualification.
There were no serious injuries as a result of the misplaced hurdle.
The meet was named after Owens, one of the greatest sprinters of all time and a four-time Olympic gold medallist at the 1936 Games in Berlin.