Women's pentathlon

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Nadezhda Tkachenko competing in the shot put event at the 1980 Olympic pentathlon, where she won the gold medal

The Women's pentathlon is an athletics contest consisting of five events. The word pentathlon is derived from the Greek pente (five) and athlon (contest).


Nataliya Dobrynska celebrating her pentathlon win at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships

The first women's pentathlon was introduced at the fourth Women's World Games 1934 in London. The first modern women's pentathlon was contested in the Olympics from 1964 until 1980 (five editions), and it was replaced in the 1984 Summer Olympics with the heptathlon. The event was contested in the European Athletics Championships from 1950 to 1978. However, it has never been contested at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics—since that competition's inception in 1983, the heptathlon has always been contested.

Women's pentathlon had a different set of events than the ancient Olympic pentathlon. The events were shot put, high jump, a hurdling race, sprint and long jump. Pentathlon is sometimes contested instead of heptathlon even today because of facility limitations. Indoor arenas are incapable of hosting events such as the javelin throw. The events in indoor pentathlon are 60 metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800 metres. The current world record belongs to Nataliya Dobrynska, who scored 5013 points on 9 March 2012 at the World Indoor Championships held in Istanbul.

The pentathlon is also common in high school athletics. It is simply a smaller version of the decathlon or a heptathlon. For girls, it is 100 m high hurdles, long jump, shot put, high jump, and an 800 m run. The pentathlon is used because it is less stressful on the athletes than a full multi and because many high school meets only last one day, it allows the event to be contested in the time limit.

Indoor women's pentathlon[edit]

60 metres hurdles
High jump
Shot put
Long jump
800 metres

All-time top ten athletes[edit]

Rank Score Athlete Location Date
1 5013  Nataliya Dobrynska (UKR) Istanbul 9 March 2012
2 5000  Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR) Prague 06 March 2015
3 4991  Irina Belova (RUS) Berlin 15 February 1992
4 4965  Jessica Ennis (GBR) Istanbul 9 March 2012
5 4948  Carolina Klüft (SWE) Madrid 4 March 2005
6 4927  Kelly Sotherton (GBR) Birmingham 2 March 2007
7 4896  Ekaterina Bolshova (RUS) Moscow 7 February 2012
8 4877  Tia Hellebaut (BEL) Ghent 11 February 2007
9 4866  Svetlana Moskalets (RUS) Chelyabinsk 3 February 1995
10 4855  Tatyana Chernova (RUS) Penza 3 February 2010

World record progression[edit]

Athlete Country Points Event results Location Date
Sabine John  East Germany 4768 8.16 s, 1.74 m, 14.76 m, 6.61 m, 2:15.63 Moscow, Soviet Union 15 February 1985
Irina Belova  Russia 4991 8.22 s, 1.93 m, 13.25 m, 6.67 m, 2:10.26 Berlin, Germany 15 February 1992
Nataliya Dobrynska  Ukraine 5013 8.38 s, 1.84 m, 16.51 m, 6.57 m, 2:11.15 Istanbul, Turkey 9 March 2012

World records compared with pentathlon bests[edit]

World records (WR) compared to Pentathlon Bests (PB)
Event Type Athlete Record Score Difference in points scored Ref
60 m hurdles
WR Susanna Kallur 7.68 s 1204
PB Jessica Ennis 7.91 s 1150 −54 [2]
High jump
WR Kajsa Bergqvist 2.08 m 1345
PB Tia Hellebaut 1.99 m 1224 −121
Shot put
WR Helena Fibingerová 22.50 m 1369
PB Eva Wilms 20.27 m 1217 −152
Long jump
WR Heike Drechsler 7.37 m 1299
PB Katarina Johnson-Thompson 6.89 m 1135 −164 [3]
800 m
WR Jolanda Čeplak 1:55.82 1182
PB Ester Goossens 2:04.42 1048 −134
Total World record 6399
Pentathlon bests 5748 −651

Olympic medalists[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pentathlon - women - senior - indoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-25.
  2. ^ "60 Metres Hurdles Results" (PDF). IAAF. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Pentathlon Results" (PDF). EA. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 

External links[edit]