400 meter Hurdle for Men at Olympics: The hurdle is a running event where the athletes are required to jump over the hurdles on their way to the finishing point. The 400 meter hurdle race for men is the standard length of international long hurdle competitions. The 400 meter hurdle event is also an Olympic track and field event. Later, the event had been held during the World Championships.
Ten hurdles are placed at regular intervals on the track during the 400 meter hurdle event. If any runner comes into contact with the hurdles during the race, the hurdles will fall over. Unless the hurdles are knocked down intentionally, the athlete is not punished or disqualified. The first hurdle is set at a distance of 45 meter from the starting block. The distance between two following hurdles is 35 meter. The last hurdle is placed 40 meter before the finishing line. The height of each hurdle is 36 inches or 0.914 meter. For this reason the 400 meter hurdle event is also known as the intermediate hurdle event.
The 400 meter hurdle event is one among the most technical athletic events. The event needs a combination of sprinting and hurdling techniques. For this reason, the 400 meter hurdle event is often referred to as the "man-killer event".
400 meter Hurdle for Men in Summer Olympics: The 400 meter hurdle event for men was included in the Olympic program for the first time at the 1900 Paris Summer Games. The event was dropped from the Olympic schedule in the 1906 and 1912 Games. Apart from these two occasions, the 400 meter hurdle event was contested regularly in the Summer Games. The event has been always been dominated by the American athletes.
Rules for 400 meter Hurdle for Men at Olympics: The International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF is authorized to control the domain of track and field athletics at the international stage. The rules set by the IAAF, which are vital for the 400 meter hurdle event at the international competitions, are-
- The hurdles should be made of metal and wood should be used to make the top bar of the hurdle. The weight of each hurdle is also specified by the IAAF.
- The IAAF has specified the length and width of each hurdle. The top bar of each hurdle is painted white and black in color.
- The hurdles should be made in such a way, that they could be adjusted in different height for different events.
- It is not permitted to Runners to leave or change the lanes in which they are running.
- Knocking down the hurdles on the way to the finishing line is not an offence, as long as it is not done intentionally.
- Obstructing competitors' way during the race is a punishable offence. The athlete committing the offence is disqualified by the referee. The referee can order a re-run for the event.
- An athlete stepping out of the track during the race is not allowed to join the race again.
- The athlete, who is unable to make it to the finishing line, is not given any credit for his performance.
- The timing device used to measure the time of the race has to be approved by the IAAF.
Medal Winners in the 400 meter Hurdle for Men at Olympics: American athletes have been dominating the 400 meter hurdle event from the early days. Some athletes who excelled in the event are Felix Sanchez, Angelo Taylor, Derrick Adkins, Kevin Young, Andre Phillips, Edwin Moses, Glenn Ashby Davis, Volker Beck, John Akii-Bua, David Hemery, Rex Cawley, Charles Moore, Roy Cochran, Glenn Hardin, Bob Tisdall, David Burghlay, Morgan Taylor, Frank Loomis, Charles Bacon, Harry Hillman, John Tewksbury, Samuel Matete, Stephane Diagana, Fabrizio Mori, Bershawn Jackson, John Norton, Sten Pettersson, John Gibson and Kerron Clement.
Trivia: Glenn Davis and Edwin Moses of America are the only two athletes to win two Olympic titles in the 400 meter hurdle event.
In the 1904 St. Louis Summer Games, the height of the hurdles in the 400 meter hurdle event was reduced to a height of 2 feet and 6 inches in the place of 3 feet.