Colin Jackson's Hurdle Clearance Technique

By Milan Čoh, Biomechanical Laboratory, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

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INTRODUCTION

 

     Colin Jackson is, uncontestedly, one of the greatest athletes in the history of British track & field. He holds the world record in the 110m hurdles (12.91-Stuttgart, 1993) and in the 60m hurdles ( 7.30 -Sindelfingen, 1994). He has established 10 European records and eight Commonwealth records.
     The 2002 season, in which he became European Champion (13.11-Munich), is probably his last season in the international arena. In his long, extremely successful career Colin Jackson has set high standards in the 110m hurdles. In the opinion of many experts he has developed hurdles technique virtually to perfection. Within the scope of preparation for the 2002 European Track & Field Championships, he also took part in he international meeting "Velenje- Slovenia 2002," where he won in the hurdles with the time of 13.47. Thus, an opportunity for us to analyze the hurdles technique of this extraordinary hurdler presented itself.
     Biomechanical measurements were carried out by a team of experts from the Biomechanics Laboratory at the Faculty of Sport in Ljubljana.
The main objective of the study was to establish a kinematic model of hurdling technique over the fourth hurdle and a model of rhythm of running from the fourth to the fifth hurdle by means of a 3-dimensional video analysis.
     Kinematic parameters in the section between the fourth and the fifth hurdle were measured with two synchronized cameras (Sony-DSR-300 PK) placed at an angle of 120° (Fig. 1). The frequency of the cameras was 50 Hz.

Gymboss Timers

     For the calculation of the body's center of gravity, a 15-segment model (Dempster, 1955) and the kinematic program ARIEL (Ariel Dynamics
Inc., USA) were used.
      The competition conditions were optimal: the ambient temperature was 27°, and the wind velocity w=0.0m.s-1.
Why did we decide to analyze these two hurdles? Some studies (Lafortune, 1988; Salo, Peltola and Viitasalo, 1993; Grimshaw, 1995; Iskra, 1995) show that the horizontal velocity of the hurdler between the fourth and the fifth hurdle is highly correlated with the end result in the 110m hurdle race.


RESULTS OF THE BIOMECHANICAL STUDY

      On the basis of the results in Table 1, the following characteristics of a kinematic model of the technique of clearing the 4th hurdle by
Colin Jackson (C. J.) can be established:

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

      On the basis of the results obtained by the 3-P kinematic analysis of the 110m hurdles race of the world record holder Colin Jackson, some most important parameters defining a model of hurdle clearance technique have been found. The analysis covered the clearing of the 4th and 5th hurdle. Efficient hurdle clearance can be defined by the horizontal velocity of the CM during the takeoff in front of the hurdle; the height of the CM during the take-off; the velocity of the knee swing of the swinging leg; the flight phase time; the smallest possible loss in the horizontal velocity of the CM during clearing the hurdle; a high position of the CM at landing; a short contact time in the landing phase; and the smallest possible vertical oscillations of the CM, head, shoulders, and hips before, during and after clearing the hurdle.
 


FROM: TRACK COACH 162
 

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