HURDLE JUMPING TECHNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS ON THE 110 METER RACE IN THE 1997 WORLD TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Christos Papadopoulos
  • Spiros Prassas
  • Arsenis Giavroglou
  • Lefteris Tsarouchas
Keywords: 110 meter hurdle jumping technique, world track and field championship

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE: Performance in the 110 meter hurdles is based on a variety of factors. The hurdle jumping technique employed by each athlete may arguably be one of the most important performance factors. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to study the hurdle jumping technique characteristics of the gold and silver medalists in the 110 meter hurdle race in the 1997 world track and field championship. METHODS: The performance on the fourth hurdle of the gold and silver medalists in the 1997 world track and field championship, recorded with two 60 Hz videocameras, was analyzed utilizing an Ariel Performance Analysis System. Three dimensional position data of 16 points (15 body points and 1 point on the top of the hurdle) were digitally smoothed before being submitted to further analysis. Variables examined were: 1) maximum height of the center of mass (CM) over the hurdle (Hmax), 2) flight time over the hurdle (tflight), 3) CM velocity takeoff angle (ftoff), and 4) landing angle (fland)–angle of CM to contact point line with the ground. RESULTS: The results indicate that the two athletes utilized different hurdle jumping techniques. Specifically: 1) the gold medalist showed superior performance in tflight (0.35 vs. 0.37 sec for the gold and silver medalists, respectively) and fland (90 vs. 85 degrees for the gold and silver medalists, respectively), 2) the silver medalist showed superior performance in Hmax (0.36 vs. 0.42 meters for the silver and gold medalists, respectively) and ftoff (12 vs. 13 degrees for the silver and gold medalists, respectively). Of importance is also the fact that speed changes prior to and after the hurdle jumping were not different between the two athletes. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the limited results of this study and the athletes’ final times (12.93, 13.05 seconds for the gold and silver medalists, respectively), it can be speculated that certain hurdle jumping technique characteristics (i.e., tflight and fland) may be more important than others (i.e., Hmax and ftoff). Further study employing more subjects and analysis of the hurdle jumping technique over multiple hurdles is recommended.