Combined events at the Olympics

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Combined events
at the Olympic Games
Decathlon reflections, Olympic Games, London, 1948. (7649948104).jpg
Men competing in the 1500 m of the 1948 Olympic decathlon
Overview
Sport Athletics
Gender Men and women
Years held Men's decathlon: 19562012
Women's heptathlon: 19842012
Women's pentathlon: 19641980
Olympic record
Men 8893 pts Roman Šebrle (2004)
Women 7291 pts Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1988)
Reigning champion
Men  Ashton Eaton (USA)
Women  Jessica Ennis (GBR)

Combined events at the Summer Olympics have been contested in several formats at the multi-sport event. There are two combined track and field events in the current Olympic athletics programme: a men's decathlon and a women's heptathlon.

The first men's events came at the 1904 Summer Olympics: a triathlon had long jump, shot put, and 100-yard dash events, while an all-around championship saw athletes compete over ten events, forming the basis for the decathlon.[1] No combined events were held at the subsequent games, but the 1912 Summer Olympics saw the introduction of the modern decathlon event and also a men's pentathlon (which lasted for three games). The first women's event came in 1964 in the form of the women's pentathlon. This was amended to include more two events, becoming the heptathlon at the 1984 Summer Olympics, reflecting the development of women's sport.

The Olympic record in the decathlon is 8893 points, set by Czech athlete Roman Šebrle in 2004. Jackie Joyner-Kersee's score of 7291 points to win in 1988 is both the current Olympic and world record for the heptathlon – this remains the only occasion that record has been broken at the Olympics. The men's decathlon world record has had a strong link with the competition, with the Olympic gold medalist breaking the world record in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1952, 1972, 1976, and 1984.[2]

Four men have won two Olympic combined event titles. Bob Mathias and Daley Thompson have both won back-to-back decathlon titles, Jim Thorpe won both the decathlon and pentathlon titles in 1912, and Eero Lehtonen won two Olympic pentathlon titles. Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the most successful athlete, having won two Olympic heptathlon titles and, with her further silver medal, is the only combined events competitor to have won three Olympic medals.

In 1912, Thorpe was designated the "World's Greatest Athlete" by Gustav V of Sweden and this title is traditionally given to the reigning Olympic decathlon champion in the media.[3][4] Thorpe's two gold medals were stripped in 1913 on the grounds that he had broken amateurism rules, but the International Olympic Committee restored him as the champion in 1982 (other medalists were not demoted).[5]

The 1906 Intercalated Games, now not considered an official Olympic event, featured an event based on the Ancient Olympic pentathlon, combining four track and field events with a wrestling match.

Medal summary[edit]

Men's decathlon[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1904 St. Louis
details
 Tom Kiely (GBR)  Adam Gunn (USA)  Truxtun Hare (USA)
1908 London not included in the Olympic program
1912 Stockholm
details
 Jim Thorpe (USA)  Charles Lomberg (SWE)  Gösta Holmér (SWE)
 Hugo Wieslander (SWE)
1920 Antwerp
details
 Helge Løvland (NOR)  Brutus Hamilton (USA)  Bertil Ohlson (SWE)
1924 Paris
details
 Harold Osborn (USA)  Emerson Norton (USA)  Aleksander Klumberg (EST)
1928 Amsterdam
details
 Paavo Yrjölä (FIN)  Akilles Järvinen (FIN)  Ken Doherty (USA)
1932 Los Angeles
details
 James Bausch (USA)  Akilles Järvinen (FIN)  Wolrad Eberle (GER)
1936 Berlin
details
 Glenn Morris (USA)  Bob Clark (USA)  Jack Parker (USA)
1948 London
details
 Bob Mathias (USA)  Ignace Heinrich (FRA)  Floyd Simmons (USA)
1952 Helsinki
details
 Bob Mathias (USA)  Milt Campbell (USA)  Floyd Simmons (USA)
1956 Melbourne
details
 Milt Campbell (USA)  Rafer Johnson (USA)  Vasili Kuznetsov (URS)
1960 Rome
details
 Rafer Johnson (USA)  Yang Chuan-kwang (ROC)  Vasili Kuznetsov (URS)
1964 Tokyo
details
 Willi Holdorf (EUA)  Rein Aun (URS)  Hans-Joachim Walde (EUA)
1968 Mexico City
details
 Bill Toomey (USA)  Hans-Joachim Walde (FRG)  Kurt Bendlin (FRG)
1972 Munich
details
 Mykola Avilov (URS)  Leonid Lytvynenko (URS)  Ryszard Katus (POL)
1976 Montreal
details
 Bruce Jenner (USA)  Guido Kratschmer (FRG)  Mykola Avilov (URS)
1980 Moscow
details
 Daley Thompson (GBR)  Yuriy Kutsenko (URS)  Sergei Zhelanov (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Daley Thompson (GBR)  Jürgen Hingsen (FRG)  Siegfried Wentz (FRG)
1988 Seoul
details
 Christian Schenk (GDR)  Torsten Voss (GDR)  Dave Steen (CAN)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Robert Změlík (TCH)  Antonio Peñalver (ESP)  Dave Johnson (USA)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Dan O'Brien (USA)  Frank Busemann (GER)  Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)
2000 Sydney
details
 Erki Nool (EST)  Roman Šebrle (CZE)  Chris Huffins (USA)
2004 Athens
details
 Roman Šebrle (CZE)  Bryan Clay (USA)  Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)
2008 Beijing
details
 Bryan Clay (USA)  Andrei Krauchanka (BLR)  Leonel Suárez (CUB)
2012 London
details
 Ashton Eaton (USA)  Trey Hardee (USA)  Leonel Suárez (CUB)

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1= Mathias, BobBob Mathias  United States (USA) 1948–1952 2 0 0 2
1= Thompson, DaleyDaley Thompson  Great Britain (GBR) 1980–1984 2 0 0 2
3= Campbell, MiltMilt Campbell  United States (USA) 1952–1956 1 1 0 2
3= Johnson, RaferRafer Johnson  United States (USA) 1956–1960 1 1 0 2
3= Šebrle, RomanRoman Šebrle  Czech Republic (CZE) 2000–2004 1 1 0 2
3= Clay, BryanBryan Clay  United States (USA) 2004–2008 1 1 0 2
7 Avilov, MykolaMykola Avilov  Soviet Union (URS) 1972–1976 1 0 1 2
8 Järvinen, AkillesAkilles Järvinen  Finland (FIN) 1928–1932 0 2 0 2
9 Walde, Hans-JoachimHans-Joachim Walde  West Germany (FRG)
 Unified Team of Germany (EUA)
1964–1968 0 1 1 2
10= Simmons, FloydFloyd Simmons  United States (USA) 1948–1952 0 0 2 2
10= Kuznetsov, VasiliVasili Kuznetsov  Soviet Union (URS) 1956–1960 0 0 2 2
10= Suárez, LeonelLeonel Suárez  Cuba (CUB) 2008–2012 0 0 2 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 13 8 7 28
2  Great Britain (GBR) 3 0 0 3
3  Soviet Union (URS) 1 3 4 8
4  Finland (FIN) 1 2 0 3
5=  Germany (GER)[nb] 1 1 2 4
5=  Sweden (SWE) 1 1 2 4
7  Czech Republic (CZE) 1 1 1 3
8  East Germany (GDR) 1 1 0 2
9  Estonia (EST) 1 0 1 2
10=  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 0 0 1
10=  Norway (NOR) 1 0 0 1
12  West Germany (FRG) 0 3 2 5
13=  Belarus (BLR) 0 1 0 1
13=  France (FRA) 0 1 0 1
13=  Republic of China (ROC) 0 1 0 1
13=  Spain (ESP) 0 1 0 1
17  Cuba (CUB) 0 0 2 2
18=  Canada (CAN) 0 0 1 1
18=  Kazakhstan (KAZ) 0 0 1 1
18=  Poland (POL) 0 0 1 1

Women's heptathlon[edit]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1984 Los Angeles
details
 Glynis Nunn (AUS)  Jackie Joyner (USA)  Sabine Everts (FRG)
1988 Seoul
details
 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)  Sabine John (GDR)  Anke Behmer (GDR)
1992 Barcelona
details
 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)  Irina Belova (EUN)  Sabine Braun (GER)
1996 Atlanta
details
 Ghada Shouaa (SYR)  Natallia Sazanovich (BLR)  Denise Lewis (GBR)
2000 Sydney
details
 Denise Lewis (GBR)  Yelena Prokhorova (RUS)  Natallia Sazanovich (BLR)
2004 Athens
details
 Carolina Klüft (SWE)  Austra Skujytė (LTU)  Kelly Sotherton (GBR)
2008 Beijing
details
 Nataliya Dobrynska (UKR)  Hyleas Fountain (USA)  Tatyana Chernova (RUS)
2012 London
details
 Jessica Ennis (GBR)  Lilli Schwarzkopf (GER)  Tatyana Chernova (RUS)

Multiple medalists[edit]

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Joyner-Kersee, JackieJackie Joyner-Kersee  United States (USA) 1984–1992 2 1 0 3
2 Lewis, DeniseDenise Lewis  Great Britain (GBR) 1996–2000 1 0 1 2
3 Sazanovich, NatalliaNatallia Sazanovich  Belarus (BLR) 1996–2000 0 1 1 2
4 Chernova, TatyanaTatyana Chernova  Russia (RUS) 2008–2012 0 0 2 2

Medals by country[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 2 2 0 4
2  Great Britain (GBR) 2 0 2 4
3=  Australia (AUS) 1 0 0 1
3=  Sweden (SWE) 1 0 0 1
3=  Syria (SYR) 1 0 0 1
3=  Ukraine (UKR) 1 0 0 1
7  Russia (RUS) 0 1 2 3
8=  Belarus (BLR) 0 1 1 2
8=  East Germany (GDR) 0 1 1 2
8=  Germany (GER) 0 1 1 2
11=  Lithuania (LTU) 0 1 0 1
11=  Unified Team (EUN) 0 1 0 1
13  West Germany (FRG) 0 0 1 1

Defunct events[edit]

Men's triathlon[edit]

Consisted of long jump, shot put, and 100 yards.

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1904 St. Louis
details
 Max Emmerich (USA)  John Grieb (USA)  William Merz (USA)

Men's pentathlon[edit]

Consisted of long jump, javelin throw, 200 metres, discus throw, and 1500 metres. Jim Thorpe, the original winner in 1912, was disqualified for professionalism in 1913, but the International Olympic Committee decided to restore Thorpe as the winner in 1982, on the grounds that the professionalism protest had fallen outside of the 30-day limit specified by their rules. The other medals were not reassigned so Thorpe and Ferdinand Bie stand as joint champions.[5] Eero Lehtonen was the most successful athlete in the event's three-edition history, winning two of the three gold medals on offer and being the only person to reach the podium twice.

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm
details
 Ferdinand Bie (NOR)  James Donahue (USA)  Frank Lukeman (CAN)
 Jim Thorpe (USA)
1920 Antwerp
details
 Eero Lehtonen (FIN)  Everett Bradley (USA)  Hugo Lahtinen (FIN)
1924 Paris
details
 Eero Lehtonen (FIN)  Elemér Somfay (HUN)  Robert LeGendre (USA)

Women's pentathlon[edit]

Consisted of 100 metres hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump, and 800 metres. Burglinde Pollak, a bronze medalist in 1972 and 1976, was the only woman to win two Olympic pentathlon medals during its five-edition history.

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1964 Tokyo
details
 Irina Press (URS)  Mary Rand (GBR)  Galina Bystrova (URS)
1968 Mexico City
details
 Ingrid Becker (FRG)  Liese Prokop (AUT)  Annamária Tóth (HUN)
1972 Munich
details
 Mary Peters (GBR)  Heide Rosendahl (FRG)  Burglinde Pollak (GDR)
1976 Montreal
details
 Siegrun Siegl (GDR)  Christine Laser (GDR)  Burglinde Pollak (GDR)
1980 Moscow
details
 Nadezhda Tkachenko (URS)  Olga Rukavishnikova (URS)  Olga Kuragina (URS)

Intercalated Games[edit]

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.[6]

No strictly track and field combined event featured on the programme, as happened at the 1904 Summer Olympics, but the Greeks introduced a variation of the Ancient Olympic pentathlon. This contained four track and field events – standing long jump, ancient-style discus throw, javelin throw and a stadion race (192 m) – with the final event being Greco-Roman wrestling.[7]

American Martin Sheridan was the initial favourite, having already won gold and silver medals in individual jump and throws events, but dropped out due to injury. Lawson Robertson and István Mudin each won two of the rounds (Robertson the long jump and stadion, Mudin the discus and wrestling), but it was Sweden's Hjalmar Mellander who won the gold medal with 24 points. The Swede never finished in the top two of a round, but he performed consistently, never below seventh place in the 27-man field. Mudin of Hungary took a close second place with 25 points.[7] Third place was taken by another Swede, Eric Lemming, who later went on to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the javelin throw.[8]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1906 Athens
details
 Hjalmar Mellander (SWE)  István Mudin (HUN)  Eric Lemming (SWE)

References[edit]

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games: Men's Decathlon. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-05-23.
  2. ^ 12th IAAF World Championships In Athletics: IAAF Statistics Handbook. Berlin 2009 (pages 546, 559–60, 649). IAAF (2009). Retrieved on 2011-05-07.
  3. ^ Bryan Clay claims decathlon gold, title as world's greatest athlete
  4. ^ Bryan Clay Wins Olympic Decathlon Gold, World's Greatest Athlete Is an American
  5. ^ a b Jim Thorpe. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-05-23.
  6. ^ 1906 Athina Summer Games. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-02-07.
  7. ^ a b Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's Pentathlon (Ancient). Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
  8. ^ Eric Lemming. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.

External links[edit]