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.
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:
- Water Jump