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This article is about the track and field event. For other uses, see Decathlon (disambiguation).
Decathlon combines four runs, three jumps and three throws.

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 9039 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 sixth 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]


Men's decathlon[edit]

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[edit]

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 a 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[edit]

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 Czech decathlete Robert Změlík, who achieved 7,897 points at a meeting in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, in 1992.[9]

Points system[edit]

100 m25.4347181.81
Long jump0.143542201.4
Shot put51.391.51.05
High jump0.8465751.42
400 m1.53775821.81
110 m hurdles5.7435228.51.92
Discus throw12.9141.1
Pole vault0.27981001.35
Javelin throw10.1471.08
1500 m0.037684801.85

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

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]


Split evenly between the events, the following table shows the benchmark levels needed to earn 1,000, 900, 800 and 700 points in each sport.

Event1,000 pts900 pts800 pts700 ptsUnits
100 m10.39510.82711.27811.756Seconds
Long jump7.767.366.9416.51Metres
Shot put18.416.7915.1613.53Metres
High jump2.202.101.991.88Metres
400 m46.1748.1950.3252.58Seconds
110 m hurdles13.814.5915.41916.29Seconds
Discus throw56.1751.446.5941.72Metres
Pole vault5.284.964.634.29Metres
Javelin throw77.1970.6764.0957.45Metres
1500 m3:53.794:07.424:21.774:36.96Minutes:Seconds


The current world record holder for the decathlon is Ashton Eaton of the United States, with a score of 9,039 points set during the 2012 Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.[12]

World9,039 Ashton Eaton (USA)2012
World junior8,397 Torsten Voss (GDR)1982
Continental records
Africa8,343 Willem Coertzen (RSA)2013
Asia8,725 Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)2004
Europe9,026 Roman Šebrle (CZE)2001
North, Central America
and Caribbean
9,039 Ashton Eaton (USA)2012
Oceania8,490 Jagan Hames (AUS)1998
South America8,393 Carlos Chinin (BRA)2013

Decathlon bests[edit]

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 7,000 points.[13]

World records (WR) compared to decathlon bests (DB)
EventTypeAthleteRecordScoreDifference% DifferenceDateLocationRef
100 m
WR Usain Bolt (JAM)9.58 s1,2021586.582009-08-16Berlin
DB Ashton Eaton (USA)10.21 s1,0442012-06-22Eugene[14]
Long jump
WR Mike Powell (USA)8.95 m1,3121928.041991-08-30Tokyo
DB Ashton Eaton (USA)8.23 m1,1202012-06-22Eugene[15]
Shot put
WR Randy Barnes (USA)23.12 m1,29524717.081990-05-20Westwood
DB Edy Hubacher (SUI)19.17 m1,0481969-10-05Bern
High jump
WR Javier Sotomayor (CUB)2.45 m1,2441837.351993-07-27Salamanca
DB Rolf Beilschmidt (GDR) &
 Christian Schenk (GDR)
2.27 m1,0611977-10-01 1988-09-28Jena
400 m
WR Michael Johnson (USA)43.18 s1,1561315.791999-08-26Seville
DB Bill Toomey (USA)45.68 s1,0251968-10-18Mexico City
110 m hurdles
WR Aries Merritt (USA)12.80 s1,135914.662012-09-07Brussels
DB Ashton Eaton (USA)13.35 s1,0602011-06-04Eugene
Discus throw
WR Jürgen Schult (GDR)74.08 m1,38339024.581986-06-06Neubrandenburg
DB Bryan Clay (USA)55.87 m9932005-06-24Carson
Pole vault
WR Renaud Lavillenie (FRA)6.16 m1,2841326.492014-02-15Donetsk
DB Tim Lobinger (GER)5.76 m1,1521999-09-16Leverkusen
Javelin throw
WR Jan Železný (CZE)98.48 m1,33129118.801996-05-25Jena
DB Peter Blank (FRG)79.80 m1,0401992-07-19Emmelshausen
1500 m
WR Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)3 m 26.00 s1,21825515.871998-07-14Rome
DB Robert Baker (USA)3 m 58.70 s9631980-04-03Austin
TotalWorld records12,5532,06316.43
Decathlon bests10,506

All-time top ten athletes[edit]


19,039 Ashton Eaton (USA)Eugene2012-06-23
29,026 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Götzis2001-05-27
38,994 Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)Prague1999-07-04
48,891 Dan O'Brien (USA)Talence1992-09-05
58,847 Daley Thompson (GBR)Los Angeles1984-08-09
6=8,832 Jürgen Hingsen (GER)Mannheim1984-06-09
6=8,832 Bryan Clay (USA)Eugene2008-06-30
88,815 Erki Nool (EST)Edmonton2001-08-07
98,792 Uwe Freimuth (GDR)Potsdam1984-07-21
108,790 Trey Hardee (USA)Berlin2009-08-20


18,358 Austra Skujyte (LTU)Columbia, Missouri2005-04-15
28,150 Marie Collonvillé (FRA)Talence2004-09-26
37,798 Irina Karpova (KAZ)Talence2004-09-26
47,358 Julie Martin (FRA)Talence2004-09-26
57,064 Breanna Eveland (USA)Columbia, Missouri2006-04-14
66,749 Barbora Špotáková (CZE)Talence2004-09-26
76,709 Marie-Cécile Crancé (FRA)Talence2004-09-26
86,641 Lindsay Grigoriev (USA)Columbia, Missouri2005-04-15
96,614 María Peinado (ESP)Castellón2005-10-23
106,599 Sara Tani (ITA)Udine2006-10-22

Olympic medalists[edit]

1904 St. Louis
 Tom Kiely (GBR) Adam Gunn (USA) Truxton Hare (USA)
1908 Londonnot included in the Olympic program
1912 Stockholm
 Jim Thorpe (USA) Charles Lomberg (SWE) Gösta Holmér (SWE)
 Hugo Wieslander (SWE)
1920 Antwerp
 Helge Løvland (NOR) Brutus Hamilton (USA) Bertil Ohlson (SWE)
1924 Paris
 Harold Osborn (USA) Emerson Norton (USA) Aleksander Klumberg (EST)
1928 Amsterdam
 Paavo Yrjölä (FIN) Akilles Järvinen (FIN) Ken Doherty (USA)
1932 Los Angeles
 James Bausch (USA) Akilles Järvinen (FIN) Wolrad Eberle (GER)
1936 Berlin
 Glenn Morris (USA) Bob Clark (USA) Jack Parker (USA)
1948 London
 Bob Mathias (USA) Ignace Heinrich (FRA) Floyd Simmons (USA)
1952 Helsinki
 Bob Mathias (USA) Milt Campbell (USA) Floyd Simmons (USA)
1956 Melbourne
 Milt Campbell (USA) Rafer Johnson (USA) Vasili Kuznetsov (URS)
1960 Rome
 Rafer Johnson (USA) Yang Chuan-Kwang (ROC) Vasili Kuznetsov (URS)
1964 Tokyo
 Willi Holdorf (EUA) Rein Aun (URS) Hans-Joachim Walde (EUA)
1968 Mexico City
 Bill Toomey (USA) Hans-Joachim Walde (FRG) Kurt Bendlin (FRG)
1972 Munich
 Mykola Avilov (URS) Leonid Lytvynenko (URS) Ryszard Katus (POL)
1976 Montreal
 Bruce Jenner (USA) Guido Kratschmer (FRG) Mykola Avilov (URS)
1980 Moscow
 Daley Thompson (GBR) Yuriy Kutsenko (URS) Sergei Zhelanov (URS)
1984 Los Angeles
 Daley Thompson (GBR) Jürgen Hingsen (FRG) Siegfried Wentz (FRG)
1988 Seoul
 Christian Schenk (GDR) Torsten Voss (GDR) David Steen (CAN)
1992 Barcelona
 Robert Změlík (TCH) Antonio Peñalver (ESP) Dave Johnson (USA)
1996 Atlanta
 Dan O'Brien (USA) Frank Busemann (GER) Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)
2000 Sydney
 Erki Nool (EST) Roman Šebrle (CZE) Chris Huffins (USA)
2004 Athens
 Roman Šebrle (CZE) Bryan Clay (USA) Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)
2008 Beijing
 Bryan Clay (USA) Andrei Krauchanka (BLR) Leonel Suárez (CUB)
2012 London
 Ashton Eaton (USA) Trey Hardee (USA) Leonel Suárez (CUB)

World Championships medalists[edit]

1983 Helsinki Daley Thompson (GBR) Jürgen Hingsen (FRG) Siegfried Wentz (FRG)
1987 Rome Torsten Voss (GDR) Siegfried Wentz (FRG) Pavel Tarnovetskiy (URS)
1991 Tokyo Dan O'Brien (USA) Mike Smith (CAN) Christian Schenk (GER)
1993 Stuttgart Dan O'Brien (USA) Eduard Hämäläinen (BLR) Paul Meier (GER)
1995 Gothenburg Dan O'Brien (USA) Eduard Hämäläinen (BLR) Mike Smith (CAN)
1997 Athens Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Eduard Hämäläinen (FIN) Frank Busemann (GER)
1999 Seville Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Dean Macey (GBR) Chris Huffins (USA)
2001 Edmonton Tomáš Dvořák (CZE) Erki Nool (EST) Dean Macey (GBR)
2003 Saint-Denis Tom Pappas (USA) Roman Šebrle (CZE) Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)
2005 Helsinki Bryan Clay (USA) Roman Šebrle (CZE) Attila Zsivóczky (HUN)
2007 Osaka Roman Šebrle (CZE) Maurice Smith (JAM) Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)
2009 Berlin Trey Hardee (USA) Leonel Suárez (CUB) Aleksandr Pogorelov (RUS)
2011 Daegu Trey Hardee (USA) Ashton Eaton (USA) Leonel Suárez (CUB)
2013 Moscow Ashton Eaton (USA) Michael Schrader (GER) Damian Warner (CAN)

Season's bests[edit]

19608,683 Rafer Johnson (USA)?
19618,709 Philip Mulkey (USA)?
19628,248 Chuan-Kwang Yang (ROC)?
19638,089 Chuan-Kwang Yang (ROC)?
19647,950 Manfred Bock (FRG)?
19657,883 Mikhail Storozhenko (URS)?
19668,234 Bill Toomey (USA)?
19678,319 Kurt Bendlin (FRG)?
19688,222 A Bill Toomey (USA)?
19698,417 Bill Toomey (USA)?
19708,130 Rüdiger Demmig (GDR)?
19718,244 Kurt Bendlin (FRG)?
19728,466 Mykola Avilov (URS)Munich
19738,163 Lennart Hedmark (SWE)Bonn
19748,229 Ryszard Skowronek (POL)Montreal
19758,429 Bruce Jenner (USA)Eugene
19768,634 Bruce Jenner (USA)Montreal
19778,400 Aleksandr Grebenyuk (URS)Riga
19788,493 Guido Kratschmer (FRG)Bernhausen
19798,476 Guido Kratschmer (FRG)Krefeld
19808,667 Guido Kratschmer (FRG)Bernhausen
19818,334 Rainer Pottel (GDR)Birmingham
19828,774 Daley Thompson (GBR)Athens
19838,825 Jürgen Hingsen (FRG)Bernhausen
19848,847 Daley Thompson (GBR)Los Angeles
19858,559 Torsten Voss (GDR)Dresden
19868,811 Daley Thompson (GBR)Stuttgart
19878,680 Torsten Voss (GDR)Rome
19888,512 Christian Plaziat (FRA)Talence
19898,549 Dave Johnson (USA)Houston
19908,574 Christian Plaziat (FRA)Split
19918,812 Dan O'Brien (USA)Tokyo
19928,891 Dan O'Brien (USA)Talence
19938,817 Dan O'Brien (USA)Stuttgart
19948,735 Eduard Hämäläinen (BLR)Götzis
19958,695 Dan O'Brien (USA)Göteborg
19968,824 Dan O'Brien (USA)Atlanta
19978,837 Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)Athens
19988,755 Dan O'Brien (USA)Uniondale
19998,994 Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)Prague
20008,900 Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)Götzis
20019,026 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Götzis
20028,800 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Götzis
20038,807 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Götzis
20048,893 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Athens
20058,732 Bryan Clay (USA)Helsinki
20068,677 Bryan Clay (USA)Götzis
20078,697 Roman Šebrle (CZE)Kladno
20088,832 Bryan Clay (USA)Eugene
20098,790 Trey Hardee (USA)Berlin
20108,483 Bryan Clay (USA)Götzis
20118,729 Ashton Eaton (USA)Eugene
20129,039 Ashton Eaton (USA)Eugene
20138,809 Ashton Eaton (USA)Moscow

National records[edit]

9,039 United StatesAshton Eaton2012-06-23Eugene[12]
9,026 Czech RepublicRoman Šebrle2001-04-27Götzis
8,847 United KingdomDaley Thompson1984-08-09Los Angeles
8,832 GermanyJürgen Hingsen1984-06-09Mannheim
8,815 EstoniaErki Nool2001-08-07Edmonton
8,735 BelarusEduard Hämäläinen1994-05-29Götzis
8,730 FinlandEduard Hämäläinen1997-08-06Athens
8,725 KazakhstanDmitriy Karpov2004-08-24Athens
8,709 UkraineAleksandr Apaychev1984-06-03Neubrandenburg
8,698 RussiaGrigoriy Degtyaryev1984-06-22Kiev
8,654 CubaLeonel Suárez2009-07-04Havana
8,644 JamaicaMaurice Smith2007-09-01Osaka
8,626 CanadaMike Smith1996-05-26Götzis
8,574 FranceChristian Plaziat1990-08-29Split
8,573 IcelandJón Arnar Magnússon1998-05-31Götzis
8,566 PolandSebastian Chmara1998-05-17Murcia
8,554 HungaryAttila Zsivóczky2000-06-04Götzis
8,526 SpainFrancisco Javier Benet1998-05-17Murcia
8,519 BelgiumHans Van Alphen2012-05-27Götzis[18]
8,506 NetherlandsEelco Sintnicolaas2012-05-27Götzis[18]
8,490 AustraliaJagan Hames1998-09-18Kuala Lumpur
8,445 UzbekistanRamil Ganiyev1997-08-06Athens
8,437 LithuaniaRišardas Malachovskis1988-07-02Staiki
8,406 SwedenNicklas Wiberg2009-08-20Berlin
8,393 BrazilCarlos Chinin7–8 June 2013São Paulo[19]
8,359 New ZealandSimon Poelman1987-03-22Christchurch
8,343 South AfricaWillem Coertzen2013-04–11Moscow[20]
8,334  SwitzerlandStephan Niklaus1983-07-03Lausanne
8,332 AlgeriaLarbi Bouraada2012-06-15Ratingen[21]
8,320 AustriaGernot Kellermayr1993-05-30Götzis
8,312 LatviaEdgars Eriņš26–27 May 2011Valmiera
8,291 ArgentinaTito Steiner1983-06-23Provo
8,290 ChinaQi Haifeng2005-05-29Götzis
8,288 MoldovaValeri Kachanov1980-06-21Moscow
8,275 SerbiaMihail Dudaš2013-08-11Moscow
8,213 PortugalMário Aníbal2001-07-01Kaunas
8,206 Republic of ChinaYang Chuan-Kwang1963-04-28Walnut
8,199 BulgariaAtanas Andonov1981-06-21Sofia
8,169 ItalyBeniamino Poserina1996-10-06Formia
8,160 NorwayBenjamin Jensen1999-08-01Greve
8,143 JapanKeisuke Ushiro26–27 April 2014Wakayama[22]
8,069 GreeceProdromos Korkizoglou2000-07-02Ibach
8,065 ChileGonzalo Barroilhet2012-04-20Charlottesville[23]
8,062 GrenadaKurt Felix2012-06-07Des Moines[24]
8,023 TunisiaHamdi Dhouibi2005-08-10Helsinki
7,994 DenmarkLars Warming1988-06-19Götzis
7,882 IrelandCarlos O'Connell1988-06-05Emmitsburg
7,860 South KoreaKim Kun-Woo2011-08-28Gongju
7,846 TajikistanIgor Sobolevskiy1982-07-16Leningrad
7,843 RomaniaVasile Bogdan1975-06-07Paris
7,802 CyprusYeorgios Andreou2000-08-12Volos
7,799 SlovakiaPeter Soldos2001-06-10Arles
7,777 BarbadosVictor Houston1997-08-06Athens
7,757 TurkeyAlper Kasapoğlu1996-04-19Azusa
7756 GeorgiaJuri Dyachkov1968-06-16Tbilisi
7,755 VietnamVu Van Huyen2010-11-25Guangzhou
7,734 VenezuelaDouglas Fernández1983-08-27Caracas
7,730 QatarAhmad Hassan Moussa2004-06-27Ratingen
7,711 IranHadi Sepehrzad2008-07-21Tehran
7,704 Puerto RicoLuiggy Llanos2003-08-06Santo Domingo
7,698 SloveniaDamjan Sitar2006-05-28Maribor
7,659 CroatiaJoško Vlašić1983-06-25Izmir
7,632 Saint LuciaDominic Johnson1998-03-27Tucson
7,614 MexicoAlejandro Cárdenas1996-05-11Medellín
7,537 MauritiusGuillaume Thierry26–27 April 2014Bambous[25]
7,522 MontenegroDarko Pešić2013-07-12Tampere
7,096 IsraelErez Meltzer1994-07-31Markt Schwaben
7,095 MalaysiaMuhammad Malik Tobias2003-06-08Filderstadt
7,038 PhilippinesJesson Ramil Cid2013-12–18Naypyidaw[26]
6,943 ParaguayClaudio Escauriza1982-10-12Asunción

See also[edit]

Other multiple event contests[edit]


  1. ^ "Decathlon". Encarta. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ World's Greatest Athlete
  3. ^ "Eaton's record-setting performance highlights historic night in Eugene". CNN. 2012-06-24. 
  4. ^ Waldo E. Sweet, Erich Segal (1987). Sport and recreation in ancient Greece. Oxford University Press. (p37). Retrieved on 2011-05-07.
  5. ^ IAAF Scoring Tables for Combined Events, p. 7.
  6. ^ IAAF Scoring Tables for Combined Events, p. 9.
  7. ^ "Decathlon Records". IAAF. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  8. ^ IAAF Scoring Tables for Combined Events, p. 10.
  9. ^ Decathlon Records. DECA - The Decathlon Association. Retrieved on 2007-10-23.
  10. ^ a b IAAF Scoring Tables for Combined Events, p. 24.
  11. ^ IAAF Scoring Tables of Athletics - Outdoor - 2008 Edition p. 154.
  12. ^ a b "Decathlon Results". USATF. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  13. ^ van Kuijen, Hans (2013-09-12). Eaton and Melnychenko lead Talence fields, Lavillenie to make Decathlon debut – IAAF Combined Events Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-09-12.
  14. ^ "U.S. Olympic trials: Ashton Eaton has record-setting Day 1 in decathlon". 22 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Ashton Eaton Breaks Decathlon 100m and Long Jump World Records". 22 June 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Decathlon - men - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-25.
  17. ^ Decathlon - women - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-25.
  18. ^ a b "Hypo-Meeting 2012 Men's Results". IAAF. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  19. ^ Carlos Chinin wins the decathlon and settles new South American record
  20. ^ "Decathlon Results". IAAF. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Decathlon Results". IAAF. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "Ushiro ends 3-year wait to rewrite record". 30 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Decathlon Results". 20 April 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Decathlon Results". 
  25. ^ "Mauritius International meet, Bambous 26-27/04/2014". 27 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Decathlon Result". 18 December 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 

External links[edit]