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ATHLETICS

What are the 10 events that make up the men’s decathlon?

The gold standard of athletics, the decathlon is an all-around test to crown the top complete athlete across ten disciplines

Update:
The gold standard of athletics, the decathlon is an all-around test to crown the top complete athlete across ten disciplines
BEN STANSALLGetty

In the athletics world, the undisputed heavyweight king of the events is the decathlon. While all other events allow specialization, this one requires an athlete to have outstanding levels of skill in virtually every direction, requiring speed, explosive strength, skill and agility to compete.

As the name would suggest, it consists of ten separate events, and in order to win a decathlete must be able to score consistently high across all disciplines.

Decathletes are allowed to commit only one false start across all of the track events, with a second one leading to their disqualification. In the shot, long jump and javelin events, they are all given three attempts. Should the competition end with two or more athletes tied on points, then the one with the most points in the majority of the events is declared the overall winner.

The competition takes place across two days and was first introduced as an Olympic event in 1912, with some of the biggest names in track and field history winning the decathlon. Jim Thorpe, perhaps the greatest athlete who ever lived, was the first decathlon champion, with the USA leading the world as the dominant force in the decathlon. Bob Mathias, Bruce Jenner, and Ashton Eaton have led the way for the Red White and Blue, with Britain’s Daley Thompson winning gold back to back in ‘80 and ‘84.

The events are similar between men’s and women’s events with the differences being the same as for the individual events: the shot, discus, and javelin weigh less, and the hurdles are lower for the women than the men. The only difference between men’s and women’s decathlon events is that whereas the women compete in the 100 meter hurdles, the men run the hurdles over 110 meters.

Men’s Decathlon Events

Day 1

  • 100 meter dash
  • Long jump
  • Shot put
  • High jump
  • 400 meter dash

Day 2

  • 110 meter hurdles
  • Discus throw
  • Pole vault
  • Javelin throw
  • 1500 meter run
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