80 meter Hurdle for Women at Olympics: The hurdling events involve running over some obstacles set along the running track. The hurdle races are generally included in the Olympics program. The 80 meter hurdle race was first held for women in 1926. It was the first hurdling event, which was contested by women in the Olympic athletics competition. The event is no more contested at present. Since 1949, the 80 meter hurdle race has been included in women's pentathlon program.
In the 80 meter hurdle race, eight hurdles were set along the running track at an interval of 8 meter. The height of the hurdles used during the race was 76.2 centimeter. The hurdles are placed in such a way, that during the race, a little contact with the athletes' body can overturn them. The athletes competing in the event have to be very flexible with great command over speed to excel in the event.
80 meter Hurdle for Women in Summer Olympics: The 80 meter hurdle event was the first hurdling event included in the Olympic women's athletics program. The event was held for the first time at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games. The event was contested at the Olympics till the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. After the 1968 Games, the event was replaced by the 100 meter hurdle event.
Rules for 80 meter Hurdle for Women at Olympics: The International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF has set rules for the track and field athletics events. The rules relevant for the 80 meter hurdle event at the international competitions were-
- The hurdles should be made of metal. Wood should be used to make the top bar of the hurdle.
- The hurdles have to be adjustable in different height for different events.
- The length and width of each hurdle is specified by the IAAF. The top bar of each hurdle has to be painted with white and black color.
- Only the automatic timing device approved by the IAAF can be used for measuring the time during the races.
- Leaving or changing the lanes is prohibited during the race.
- An athlete is disqualified from the competition for knocking down the hurdles intentionally. However, if the hurdles are overturned accidentally, that is not considered to be punishable.
- An athlete cannot obstruct her competitors' way during the race. If found, she can be disqualified from the competition.
- If an athlete steps out of the track during the race, she is not allowed to join her competitors.
- The athlete not finishing the race is not given any credit.
Medal Winners in the 80 meter Hurdle for Women at Olympics: Maureen Caird, Karin Balzer, Irina Press, Shirley Strickland, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Trebisonda Valla, Babe Zaharias, Pam Kilborn, Teresa Cieply, Carole Quinton, Gisela Kohler, Maria Golubnichaya, Maureen Gardner, Anni Steuer, Evelyne Hall, Chi Cheng, Norma Thrower, Maria Sander, Elizabeth Taylor and Marjorie Clark are the athletes who won medals in the marathon for women in the Olympics.
Trivia: Babe Didrikson set new world record in the 80 meter hurdle event during the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games. She said to the press, "I came out here to beat everybody in sight, and that is exactly what I am going to do."