Steeplechase Olympics Running 3,000m Rio 2016 Athletics Track And Field Rules Guide History

Steeplechase Olympics Running 3,000m Rio 2016 Athletics Track And Field Rules Guide History

What Are The Rules Of Steeplechase At The Olympics?

Steeplechase is one of the most iconic track events at the Olympic Games. The length of a race is 3,000m. Much like runners in the Olympic hurdle events, competitors in the steeplechase must jump over obstacles as they make their way around the track. One full lap of a steeplechase circuit contains four barriers and one water jump. Over the course of a 3,000m steeplechase race, runners must clear a total of seven water jumps and 28 barriers. Needless to say, competitors must be extremely fit.

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The obstacles in the men's steeplechase are 914 millimetres (36.0 inches) high. In the women's steeplechase, the obstacles are 762 millimetres high (30.0 inches). The water jump consists of a barrier followed by a pit of water. The landing area for the pit of water is 3.66 metres (12.0 ft) by 0.70 metres (2.3 ft). At its deepest point, the slope goes down to a depth of 700mm (28 inches). This then slopes upward so that it levels out with the surface of the track.

Pictured: Katy Andrews went viral after this spectacular steeplechase fail in 2012.

Steeplechase Fail Olympics Rio 2016 Athletics Running Water Pit Hurdles

Athletes competing in track-based steeplechase will run one half lap of a 400m circuit without hurdles. The following seven laps of the track contain five hurdles (including water jump). The water jump is usually situated on the inside of the last turn of the circuit, with the final hurdle after that in the middle of the closing straight. The order for the obstacles goes like this:

  1. Hurdle
  2. Hurdle
  3. Hurdle
  4. Water Jump
  5. Hurdle

Unlike the hurdles used in track-based hurdling events, the steeplechase barriers do not fall over when hit by the athlete. The rules for steeplechase running allow the barriers to be traversed in any way the runner deems fit. Many runners, for example, will jump up on top of the barrier before stepping off and continuing their run. The slope in the water jump pit rewards runners with a greater jumping ability, because longer jumps result in the athlete landing in a shallower part of the water - saving valuable time in the process.

What Is The History Of Steeplechase In Athletics?

Pictured: Steeplechase can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when it was a cross-country style event.

Steeplechase originated in Ireland, and shares a history with the horse racing event that shares its name. Back then, riders on horseback would race each other from one town to another - with the steeples used as convenient markers because of their visibility over large distances.

The current event, in terms of athletics, can be traced back to a two mile (3.2km) cross country steeplechase-style event that happened at the University of Oxford during the middle of the 19th century. In 1865, this became an event where runners ran across a flat field containing barriers. It was legitimised as a track event at the 1879 English Championships.

Pictured: Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi celebrates after winning the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2015 Word Championships.

Ezekiel Kemboi Kenya Steeplechase Olympics Running 3,000m Rio 2016 Athletics Track And Field Rules Guide History

Steeplechase has featured as an Olympic event for men, in some form or other, since the early days of the modern-day Olympic period. It first featured as a 3,000m event at the 1920 Games. From 1968 onwards, the Olympic Steeplechase event has been dominated by Kenyan athletes. Rather remarkably, Kenya has picked up gold at every Olympic Men's Steeplechase event since 1984. This gold medal winning streak includes podium clean sweeps at Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004.

Steeplechase, as a women's event, made its Olympic Games debut at Beijing 2008. The women's steeplechase event is identical to the men's in that it's run over 3,000m, but differs in that the barriers used are slightly lower. At the highest level, the women's steeplechase is still very much in its infancy. Russia have won gold at both of the Olympics in which it's featured (Gulnara Samitova-Galkina - 2008, Yuliya Zaripova - 2012).

What Is The Steeplechase World Record?

Men's 3,000m Steeplechase (WR)

  • Saif Saaeed Shaheen (Qatar)
  • World Record - 7:53.63
  • Location - Brussels
  • Date - 03/09/2004

Men's 3,000m Steeplechase (OR)

  • Julius Kariuki (Kenya)
  • Olympic Record - 8:05.51
  • Location - Seoul
  • Date - 30/09/1988

Women's 3,000m Steeplechase (WR/OR)

  • Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (Russia)
  • World Record/Olympic Record - 8:58.81
  • Location - Beijing
  • Date - 17/08/2008
  • Pictured: Saif Saaeed Shaheen, of Qatar, set the 3,000m steeplechase world record in 2004.

    Steeplechase Athletics World Record Saif Saaeed Shaheen

Steeplechase At The Olympics - Medal Winners

Men's Steeplechase

1920 - Antwerp

  • Gold - Percy Hodge (GBR)
  • Silver - Patrick Flynn (USA)
  • Bronze - Ernesto Ambrosini (ITA)

1924 - Paris

  • Gold - Ville Ritola (FIN)
  • Silver - Elias Katz (FIN)
  • Bronze - Paul Bontemps (FRA)

1928 - Amsterdam

  • Gold - Toivo Loukola (FIN)
  • Silver - Paavo Nurmi (FIN)
  • Bronze - Ove Andersen (FIN)

1932 - Los Angeles

  • Gold - Volmari Iso-Hollo (FIN)
  • Silver - Thomas Evenson (GBR)
  • Bronze - Joe McCluskey (USA)

1936 - Berlin

  • Gold - Volmari Iso-Hollo (FIN)
  • Silver - Kalle Tuominen (FIN)
  • Bronze - Alfred Dompert (GER)
Pictured: Volmari Iso-Hollo won steeplechase gold for Finland in 1932 and 1936.

1948 - London

  • Gold - Tore Sjöstrand (SWE)
  • Silver - Erik Elmsäter (SWE)
  • Bronze - Göte Hagström (SWE)

1952 - Helsinki

  • Gold - Horace Ashenfelter (USA)
  • Silver - Vladimir Kazantsev (URS)
  • Bronze - John Disley (GBR)

1956 - Melbourne

  • Gold - Chris Brasher (GBR)
  • Silver - Sándor Rozsnyói (HUN)
  • Bronze - Ernst Larsen (NOR)

1960 - Rome

  • Gold - Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak (POL)
  • Silver - Nikolay Sokolov (URS)
  • Bronze - Semyon Rzhishchin (URS)

1964 - Tokyo

  • Gold - Gaston Roelants (BEL)
  • Silver - Maurice Herriott (GBR)
  • Bronze -  Ivan Belyayev (URS)

1968 - Mexico City

  • Gold - Amos Biwott (KEN)
  • Silver - Benjamin Kogo (KEN)
  • Bronze - George Young (USA)
Pictured: Amos Biwott kickstarted Kenya's steeplechase dominance with his gold medal run at Mexico City 1968.

1972 - Munich

  • Gold - Kipchoge Keino (KEN)
  • Silver - Ben Jipcho (KEN)
  • Bronze - Tapio Kantanen (FIN)

1976 - Montreal

  • Gold - Anders Gärderud (SWE)
  • Silver - Bronisław Malinowski (POL)
  • Bronze - Frank Baumgartl (GDR)

1980 - Moscow

  • Gold - Bronisław Malinowski (POL)
  • Silver - Filbert Bayi (TAN)
  • Bronze - Eshetu Tura (ETH)

1984 - Los Angeles

  • Gold - Julius Korir (KEN)
  • Silver - Joseph Mahmoud (FRA)
  • Bronze - Brian Diemer (USA)

1988 - Seoul

  • Gold - Julius Kariuki (KEN)
  • Silver - Peter Koech (KEN)
  • Bronze - Mark Rowland (GBR)
Pictured: Kenyan steeplechaser Julius Kariuki set an Olympic record at Los Angeles 1984.

1992 - Barcelona

  • Gold - Matthew Birir (KEN)
  • Silver - Patrick Sang (KEN)
  • Bronze - William Mutwol (KEN)

1996 - Atlanta

  • Gold - Joseph Keter (KEN)
  • Silver - Moses Kiptanui (KEN)
  • Bronze - Alessandro Lambruschini (ITA)

2000 - Sydney

  • Gold - Reuben Kosgei (KEN)
  • Silver - Wilson Boit Kipketer (KEN)
  • Bronze - Ali Ezzine (MAR)

2004 - Athens

  • Gold - Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN)
  • Silver - Brimin Kipruto (KEN)
  • Bronze - Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN)
Pictured: Kenya's steeplechase runners celebrating their medal clean-sweep at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Athletics Kenya Running Olympics Steeplechase Athens 2004 Gold Silver Bronze Podium Clean Sweep

2008 - Beijing

  • Gold - Brimin Kipruto (KEN)
  • Silver - Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA)
  • Bronze - Richard Kipkemboi Mateelong (KEN)

2012 - London

  • Gold - Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN)
  • Silver - Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA)
  • Bronze - Abel Mutai (KEN)

Medals By Countries - Men's Steeplechase

1) Kenya (KEN)

  • Gold - 10
  • Silver - 7
  • Bronze - 4
  • Overall - 21

2) Finland (FIN)

  • Gold - 4
  • Silver - 3
  • Bronze - 2

3) Great Britain (GBR)

  • Gold - 2
  • Silver - 2
  • Bronze - 2
  • Overall - 6

4) Sweden (SWE)

  • Gold - 2
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 4

5) Poland (POL)

  • Gold - 2
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 3

6) United States (USA)

  • Gold - 1
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 3
  • Overall - 5

7) Belgium (BEL)

  • Gold - 1
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

8) France (FRA)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 3
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 4

9) Soviet Union (URS)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 2
  • Bronze - 2
  • Overall - 4

10) = Hungary (HUN)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

10) = Tanzania (TAN)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

12) Italy (ITA)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 2
  • Overall - 2

13) = East Germany (GDR)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 1

13) = Ethiopia (ETH)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 1

13) = Germany (GER)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 1

13) = Morocco (MAR)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 1

13) = Norway (NOR)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 1

Steeplechase At The Olympics - Medal Winners

Pictured: Gulnara Samitova-Galkina celebrating her 3,000m steeplechase world record at Beijing 2008.

Women's Steeplechase

2008 - Beijing

  • Gold - Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (RUS)
  • Silver - Eunice Jepkorir (KEN)
  • Bronze - Yekaterina Volkova (RUS)

2012 - London

  • Gold - Yuliya Zaripova (RUS)
  • Silver - Habiba Ghribi (TUN)
  • Bronze - Sofia Assefa (ETH)

Medals By Country - Women's Steeplechase

1) Russia (RUS)

  • Gold - 2
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 1
  • Overall - 3

2) = Kenya (KEN)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

2) = Tunisia (TUN)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 1
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

4) Ethiopia (ETH)

  • Gold - 0
  • Silver - 0
  • Bronze - 0
  • Overall - 1

What Does A Steeplechase Fail Look Like?

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