Hurdling technique has improved so dramatically over the years that today's competitors seem to remain in perfect stride as they clear the hurdles in one long step. In 2004, the difference between the gold medal-winning times in the men's 400-meter dash and the 400 hurdles was just 3.63 seconds. On the women's side it was only 3.41 seconds.
About Olympic Hurdles:
Men run the 110- and 400-meter hurdles while women run the 100 and 400. Today's competitors can knock hurdles down with no penalty, although too solid a collision will slow a runner down. Otherwise, hurdling rules have remained constant through the years. Read more about the sport of hurdling in the following links.
Olympic Hurdles History:
American men have dominated both hurdle events, winning more than half the Olympic gold medals. The U.S. was 2-for-4 overall in Beijing, with Angelo Taylor and Dawn Harper winning hurdling gold medals.
Action Image Gallery:
Some of the world's greatest hurdlers leap and sprint to glory in the following gallery of action photos.
Take a look at the top 2012 Olympic hurdles hopefuls, from the U.S. and around the world, then catch up with some familiar names from the past with these selections.