32¢ Men’s Hurdles
1996 Summer Olympics
Issue Date: May 2, 1996
City: Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Hurdle races are exciting track and field events in which competitors jump over fence-like obstacles called hurdles. Men compete in two hurdle races: the 110-meter race, with ten 42-inch hurdles, and the 400-meter race, with ten 36-inch hurdles. Women have two hurdle races: the 100 meters, with ten 32.7-inch hurdles, and the 400 meters, with ten 29.718-inch hurdles.
The hurdles used in these races are L-shaped. When a runner fails to clear a hurdle it is knocked down and out of the runner’s way. Athletes are not penalized for knocking down hurdles, rather the loss of speed caused by contact with the hurdle is the penalty. Racers pace themselves so that they do not break stride when they come to a hurdle. Ideally, the front leg is straight and trailing leg is held parallel to the ground at a right angle to the body while jumping the hurdle.
Men also compete in the steeplechase. In this 3000-meter-long contest, athletes negotiate 28 hurdles that are three feet high, as well as seven water jumps. Each water jump is preceded by a hurdle, and is 12 feet long, with a maximum depth of 2 feet 3.5 inches. In this race the hurdles are solid, and five inches wide at the top. Runners jump off the hurdle and attempt to clear as much of the water obstacle as possible.