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Decathlete

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Decathlete

This article is about the sporting event itself. For other uses, see Decathlon (disambiguation).


The decathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of ten track and field events. The word decathlon is of Greek origin, from δέκα (déka, meaning "ten") and ἄθλος (áthlos, or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning "feat"). Events are held over two consecutive days and the winners are determined by the combined performance in all. Performance is judged on a points system in each event, not by the position achieved.[1] The decathlon is contested mainly by male athletes, while female athletes typically compete in the heptathlon.

Traditionally, the title of "World's Greatest Athlete" has been given to the man who wins the Olympic decathlon. This began when King Gustav V of Sweden told Jim Thorpe, "You, sir, are the world's greatest athlete" after Thorpe won the decathlon at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912.[2] The current decathlon world record holder is American Ashton Eaton, who scored 9,039 points at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials.[3]

The event developed from the ancient pentathlon. Pentathlon competitions were held at the ancient Greek Olympics. Pentathlons involved five disciplines – long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, sprint and a wrestling match.[4] Introduced in Olympia during 708 BC, the competition was extremely popular for many centuries. By the 6th century BC, pentathlons had become part of religious games. The Amateur Athletic Union held "all around events" from the 1880s and a decathlon first appeared on the Olympic athletics program at the 1904 Games.[5]

Format

Men's decathlon

The vast majority of international and top level men's decathlons are divided into a two-day competition, with the track and field events held in the order below. Traditionally, all decathletes who finished the event do a round of honour together after the competition, rather than just the winner or medalling athletes.

Women's decathlon

At major championships, the women's equivalent of the decathlon is the seven-event heptathlon; prior to 1981 it was the five-event pentathlon.[6] However, in 2001 the IAAF approved scoring tables for women's decathlon; the current world record holder is Austra Skujytė of Lithuania.[7] Women's disciplines differ from men's in the same way as for standalone events: the shot, discus and javelin weigh less, and the sprint hurdles uses lower hurdles over 100 m rather than 110 m. The points tables used are the same as for the heptathlon in the shared events. The schedule of events differs from the men's decathlon, with the field events switched between day one and day two; this is to avoid scheduling conflicts when men's and women's decathlon competitions take place simultaneously.[8]

One hour

The one hour decathlon is a special type of decathlon in which the athletes have to start the last of ten events (1500 m) within sixty minutes after the start of the first event. The world record holder is a Czech decathlete Robert Změlík, who achieved 7897 points at a meeting in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, in 1992.[9]

Points system

Event A B C
100 m 25.4347 18 1.81
Long jump 0.14354 220 1.4
Shot put 51.39 1.5 1.05
High jump 0.8465 75 1.42
400 m 1.53775 82 1.81
110 m hurdles 5.74352 28.5 1.92
Discus throw 12.91 4 1.1
Pole vault 0.2797 100 1.35
Javelin throw 10.14 7 1.08
1500 m 0.03768 480 1.85

The 2001 IAAF points tables use the following formulae:[10]

  • Points = INT(A(BP)C) for track events (faster time produces a better score)
  • Points = INT(A(PB)C) for field events (greater distance or height produces a better score)

A, B and C are parameters that vary by discipline, as shown in the table on the right, while P is the performance by the athlete, measured in seconds (running), metres (throwing), or centimetres (jumping).[10]

The decathlon tables should not be confused with the scoring tables compiled by Bojidar Spiriev, to allow comparison of the relative quality of performances by athletes in different events. On those tables, for example, a decathlon score of 9,006 points equates to 1,265 "comparison points", the same number as a triple jump of 18 m.[11]

Benchmarks

Split evenly between the events, the following table shows the benchmark levels needed to earn 1000, 900, 800 and 700 points in each sport.

Event 1,000 pts 900 pts 800 pts 700 pts Units
100 m 10.395 10.827 11.278 11.756 Seconds
Long jump 7.76 7.36 6.941 6.51 Metres
Shot put 18.4 16.79 15.16 13.53 Metres
High jump 2.20 2.10 1.99 1.88 Metres
400 m 46.17 48.19 50.32 52.58 Seconds
110 m hurdles 13.8 14.59 15.419 16.29 Seconds
Discus throw 56.17 51.4 46.59 41.72 Metres
Pole vault 5.28 4.96 4.63 4.29 Metres
Javelin throw 77.19 70.67 64.09 57.45 Metres
1500 m 3:53.79 4:07.42 4:21.77 4:36.96 Minutes:Seconds

Records

The current world record holder for the decathlon is Ashton Eaton of the United States, with a score of 9039 points set during the 2012 Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.[12]

Record Score Athlete Year
World 9,039  Ashton Eaton (USA) 2012
World junior 8,397  Torsten Voss (GDR) 1982
Continental records
Africa 8,343  Willem Coertzen (RSA) 2013
Asia 8,725  Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ) 2004
Europe 9,026  Roman Šebrle (CZE) 2001
North, Central America
and Caribbean
9,039  Ashton Eaton (USA) 2012
Oceania 8,490  Jagan Hames (AUS) 1998
South America 8,291  Tito Steiner (ARG) 1983

Decathlon bests

The total decathlon score for all world records in the respective events would be 12,553. The total decathlon score for all the best performances achieved during decathlons is 10,506. The Difference column shows the difference in points between the decathlon points that the individual current world record would be awarded and the points awarded to the current decathlon record for that event. The % Difference column shows the percentage difference between the time, distance or height of the individual world record and the decathlon record (other than the Total entry, which shows the percentage difference between awarded decathlon points). The relative differences in points are much higher in throwing events than in running and jumping events.

Decathlon bests are only recognised when an athlete completes the ten-event competition with a score over 7000 points.[13]

World records (WR) compared to decathlon bests (DB)
Event WR–World record/
DB–Decathlon best
Athlete Record Score Difference % Difference Date Location Ref
100 m
WR  Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.58 s 1,202 158 6.58 2009-08-16 Berlin
DB  Ashton Eaton (USA) 10.21 s 1,044 2012-06-22 Eugene [14]
Long jump
WR  Mike Powell (USA) 8.95 m 1,312 192 8.04 1991-08-30 Tokyo
DB  Ashton Eaton (USA) 8.23 m 1,120 2012-06-22 Eugene [15]
Shot put
WR  Randy Barnes (USA) 23.12 m 1,295 247 17.08 1990-05-20 Westwood
DB  Edy Hubacher (SUI) 19.17 m 1,048 1969-10-05 Bern
High jump
WR  Javier Sotomayor (CUB) 2.45 m 1,244 183 7.35 1993-07-27 Salamanca
DB  Rolf Beilschmidt (GDR) &
 Christian Schenk (GDR)
2.27 m 1,061 1977-10-01 1988-09-28 Jena
Seoul
400 m
WR  Michael Johnson (USA) 43.18 s 1,156 131 5.79 1999-08-26 Seville
DB  Bill Toomey (USA) 45.68 s 1,025 1968-10-18 Mexico City
110 m hurdles
WR  Aries Merritt (USA) 12.80 s 1,135 91 4.66 2012-09-07 Brussels
DB  Ashton Eaton (USA) 13.35 s 1,060 2011-06-04 Eugene
Discus throw
WR  Jürgen Schult (GDR) 74.08 m 1,383 390 24.58 1986-06-06 Neubrandenburg
DB  Bryan Clay (USA) 55.87 m 993 2005-06-24 Carson
Pole vault
WR  Sergey Bubka (UKR) 6.14 m 1,277 125 6.19 1994-07-31 Sestriere
DB  Tim Lobinger (GER) 5.76 m 1,152 1999-09-16 Leverkusen
Javelin throw
WR  Jan Železný (CZE) 98.48 m 1,331 291 18.80 1996-05-25 Jena
DB  Peter Blank (FRG) 79.80 m 1,040 1992-07-19 Emmelshausen
1500 m
WR  Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 3 m 26.00 s 1,218 255 15.87 1998-07-14 Rome
DB  Robert Baker (USA) 3 m 58.70 s 963 1980-04-03 Austin
Total World record 12,553 2,063 16.43
Decathlon 10,506

National records

  • As of August 2013.
Points Nation Athlete Date Location Ref
9,039  USA Ashton Eaton 2012-06-23 Eugene [12]
9,026  CZE Roman Šebrle 2001-04-27 Götzis
8,847  GBR Daley Thompson 1984-08-09 Los Angeles
8,832  GER Jürgen Hingsen 1984-06-09 Mannheim
8,815  EST Erki Nool 2001-08-07 Edmonton
8,735  BLR Eduard Hämäläinen 1994-05-29 Götzis
8,730  FIN Eduard Hämäläinen 1997-08-06 Athens
8,725  KAZ Dmitriy Karpov 2004-08-24 Athens
8,709  UKR Aleksandr Apaychev 1984-06-03 Neubrandenburg
8,698  RUS Grigoriy Degtyaryev 1984-06-22 Kiev
8,654  CUB Leonel Suárez 2009-07-04 Havana
8,644  JAM Maurice Smith 2007-09-01 Osaka
8,626  CAN Mike Smith 1996-05-26 Götzis
8,574  FRA Christian Plaziat 1990-08-29 Split
8,573  ISL Jón Arnar Magnússon 1998-05-31 Götzis
8,566  POL Sebastian Chmara 1998-05-17 Murcia
8,554  HUN Attila Zsivóczky 2000-06-04 Götzis
8,526  ESP Francisco Javier Benet 1998-05-17 Murcia
8,519  BEL Hans Van Alphen 2012-05-27 Götzis [16]
8,506  NED Eelco Sintnicolaas 2012-05-27 Götzis [16]
8,490  AUS Jagan Hames 1998-09-18 Kuala Lumpur
8,445  UZB Ramil Ganiyev 1997-08-06 Athens
8,437  LTU Rišardas Malachovskis 1988-07-02 Staiki
8,406  SWE Nicklas Wiberg 2009-08-20 Berlin
8,359  NZL Simon Poelman 1987-03-22 Christchurch
8,343  RSA Willem Coertzen 10–11 April 2013 Moscow [17]
8,334   SUI Stephan Niklaus 1983-07-03 Lausanne
8,332  ALG Larbi Bouraada 2012-06-15 Ratingen [18]
8,320  AUT Gernot Kellermayr 1993-05-30 Götzis
8,312  LAT Edgars Eriņš 2011-05-27 Valmiera
8,291  ARG Tito Steiner 1983-06-23 Provo
8,290  CHN Qi Haifeng 2005-05-29 Götzis
8,288  MDA Valeri Kachanov 1980-06-21 Moscow
8,276  BRA Luiz Alberto de Araújo 2012-06-30 São Paulo [19]
8,275  SRB Mihail Dudaš 2013-08-11 Moscow
8,213  POR Mário Aníbal 2001-07-01 Kaunas
8,206  ROC Yang Chuan-Kwang 1963-04-28 Walnut
8,199  BUL Atanas Andonov 1981-06-21 Sofia
8,169  ITA Beniamino Poserina 1996-10-06 Formia
8,160  NOR Benjamin Jensen 1999-08-01 Greve
8,073  JPN Keisuke Ushiro 2011-06-05 Kawasaki
8,069  GRE Prodromos Korkizoglou 2000-07-02 Ibach
8,065  CHI Gonzalo Barroilhet 2012-04-20 Charlottesville [20]
8,023  TUN Hamdi Dhouibi 2005-08-10 Helsinki
7,994  DEN Lars Warming 1988-06-19 Götzis
7,882  IRL Carlos O'Connell 1988-06-05 Emmitsburg
7,860  KOR Kim Kun-Woo 2011-08-28 Gongju
7,846  TJK Igor Sobolevskiy 1982-07-16 Leningrad
7,843  ROM Vasile Bogdan 1975-06-07 Paris
7,802  CYP Yeorgios Andreou 2000-08-12 Volos
7,799  SVK Peter Soldos 2001-06-10 Arles
7,777  BAR Victor Houston 1997-08-06 Athens
7,757  TUR Alper Kasapoğlu 1996-04-19 Azusa
7,756  GEO Juri Dyachkov 1968-06-16 Tbilisi
7,755  VIE Vu Van Huyen 2010-11-25 Guangzhou
7,734  VEN Douglas Fernández 1983-08-27 Caracas
7,730  QAT Ahmad Hassan Moussa 2004-06-27 Ratingen
7,711  IRI Hadi Sepehrzad 2008-07-21 Tehran
7,704  PUR Luiggy Llanos 2003-08-06 Santo Domingo
7,698  SLO Damjan Sitar 2006-05-28 Maribor
7,659  CRO Joško Vlašić 1983-06-25 Izmir
7,632  LCA Dominic Johnson 1998-03-27 Tucson
7,614  MEX Alejandro Cárdenas 1996-05-11 Medellín
7,522  MNE Darko Pešić 2013-07-12 Tampere
7,511  MRI Guillaume Thierry 6–7 September 2013 Nice
7,096  ISR Erez Meltzer 1994-07-31 Markt Schwaben
7,095  MAS Muhammad Malik Tobias 2003-06-08 Filderstadt
6,963  PHI Fidel Gallenero 2001-05-18 Manila
6,943  PAR Claudio Escauriza 1982-10-12 Asunción

Season's bests

Year Points Athlete Place
1972 8,466  Mykola Avilov (URS) Munich
1973 8,163  Lennart Hedmark (SWE) Bonn
1974 8,229  Ryszard Skowronek (POL) Montreal
1975 8,429  Bruce Jenner (USA) Eugene
1976 8,634  Bruce Jenner (USA) Montreal
1977 8,400  Aleksandr Grebenyuk (URS) Riga
1978 8,493  Guido Kratschmer (FRG) Bernhausen
1979 8,476  Guido Kratschmer (FRG) Krefeld
1980 8,667  Guido Kratschmer (FRG) Bernhausen
1981 8,334  Rainer Pottel (GDR) Birmingham
1982 8,774  Daley Thompson (GBR) Athens
1983 8,825  Jürgen Hingsen (FRG) Bernhausen
1984 8,847  Daley Thompson (GBR) Los Angeles
1985 8,559  Torsten Voss (GDR) Dresden
1986 8,811  Daley Thompson (GBR) Stuttgart
1987 8,680  Torsten Voss (GDR) Rome
1988 8,512  Christian Plaziat (FRA) Talence
1989 8,549  Dave Johnson (USA) Houston
1990 8,574  Christian Plaziat (FRA) Split
1991 8,812  Dan O'Brien (USA) Tokyo
1992 8,891  Dan O'Brien (USA) Talence
1993 8,817  Dan O'Brien (USA) Stuttgart
1994 8,735  Eduard Hämäläinen (BLR) Götzis
1995 8,695  Dan O'Brien (USA) Göteborg
1996 8,824  Dan O'Brien (USA) Atlanta
1997 8,837  Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Athens
1998 8,755  Dan O'Brien (USA) Uniondale
1999 8,994  Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Prague
2000 8,900  Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Götzis
2001 9,026  Roman Šebrle (CZE) Götzis
2002 8,800  Roman Šebrle (CZE) Götzis
2003 8,807  Roman Šebrle (CZE) Götzis
2004 8,893  Roman Šebrle (CZE) Athens
2005 8,732  Bryan Clay (USA) Helsinki
2006 8,677  Bryan Clay (USA) Götzis
2007 8,697  Roman Šebrle (CZE) Kladno
2008 8,832  Bryan Clay (USA) Eugene
2009 8,790  Trey Hardee (USA) Berlin
2010 8,483  Bryan Clay (USA) Götzis
2011 8,729  Ashton Eaton (USA) Eugene
2012 9,039  Ashton Eaton (USA) Eugene

See also

Other multiple event contests

References

External links

  • Team Decathlon website
  • A downloadable the creator, Stefan Waltermann
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