Why the 400m hurdles is one of the hardest Olympic races

Running the 400-meter hurdles requires strategic rhythm, but it’s over so fast you just might miss it.

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There are few single events that demand as much skill as the 400-meter hurdle race. Olympians need to have the speed of a 200-meter dash runner, the endurance of an 800-meter runner, an understanding of rhythm, and, of course, the ability to efficiently clear a hurdle.

Various techniques can make or break a race. If you jump too high, you’re wasting time and energy; too low and you collide with a hurdle. Even if your technique over the hurdles is perfect, you can’t win if you don’t have the speed. Former Olympic hurdler and (until very recently) world record-holder Kevin Young helps us break down the rhythm of the 400-meter hurdles.

Correction: Karsten Warholm broke Kevin Young’s record at a Diamond League meet in Oslo, Norway on July 1 — not at the Olympic Trials.

For more:

The Hurdle Blog

Track Star USA


McLaughlin + Warholm’s record-breaking races:

Karsten Warholm breaks 400m hurdles world record

Sydney McLaughlin breaks world record in 400m hurdles at Olympic Trials


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