Activities Sports & Athletics What Are Olympic Hurdles? Share PINTEREST Email Print Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images Sports & Athletics Track & Field Events Baseball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Mike Rosenbaum Mike Rosenbaum Facebook Mike Rosenbaum is an award-winning sports writer covering various sports and events for more than 15 years. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 07/01/18 Success in the Olympic hurdles events requires sprinter’s speed plus solid technique as the competitors glide over their obstacles on their way to the finish line. The Competition The modern Olympics feature three different hurdles events, all of which take place on the track: 100-meter hurdles This women’s race is run on a straightaway. Runners must remain in their lanes. 110-meter hurdles The men’s high hurdles event is also run on a straightaway. Runners must remain in their lanes from start to finish. 400-meter hurdles Both men and women run a 400-meter low hurdles race. Competitors must remain in their lanes as they run one complete lap of the track, but the start is staggered to even the distance. Equipment and Venue All Olympic hurdles events are run on a track. Runners begin with their feet in solid starting blocks. Each Olympic hurdles event features 10 hurdles. In the 110, the hurdles measure 1.067 meters (3 feet, 6 inches) high. The first hurdle is set 13.72 meters (45 feet) from the starting line. There are 9.14 meters (30 feet) between hurdles and 14.02 meters (46 feet) from the final hurdle to the finish line. In the 100, the hurdles measure 0.84 meters (2 feet, 9 inches) high. The first hurdle is set 13 meters (42 feet, 8 inches) from the starting line. There are 8.5 meters (27 feet, 10 inches) between hurdles and 10.5 meters (34 feet, 5 inches) from the final hurdle to the finish line. In the 400 men’s race the hurdles are 0.914 meters (3 feet) high. The first hurdle is set 45 meters (147 feet, 7 inches) from the starting line. There are 35 meters (114 feet, 10 inches) between hurdles and 40 meters (131 feet, 3 inches) from the final hurdle to the finish line. The hurdle setup in the 400 women’s race is the same as the men’s 400, except the hurdles are 0.762 meters (2 feet, 6 inches) high. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Athletes in the hurdles events must achieve an Olympic qualifying time and must qualify for their nation’s Olympic team. A maximum of three competitors per country may run in any hurdles event. All Olympic hurdles events include eight runners in the final. Depending on the number of entries, hurdles events include two or three preliminary rounds before the final. All hurdles races end when a runner’s torso (not the head, arm or leg) crosses the finish line.