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Track-and-field event, a footrace over a series of obstacles called hurdles. Runners must remain in assigned lanes throughout a race, and, though they may knock hurdles down while running over them, they may do so only with a leg or foot, not a hand. Modern hurdlers use a sprinting style between hurdles, display an exaggerated forward lean while clearing the hurdle, and then bring the trailing leg through at nearly a right angle to the body, which enables them to continue forward without breaking stride after clearing the hurdle. Hurdling distances are 110 m and 400 m for men and 100 m and 400 m for women.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hurdling, visit Britannica.com.