HomeSports 2.0Decathlon | Its Origin, Format, Parameters, Men’s & Women’s Decathlon Events – All You...

Decathlon | Its Origin, Format, Parameters, Men’s & Women’s Decathlon Events – All You Need To Know

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Decathlon is a sporting event that consists of 10 different sporting competitions. The event follows a particular point system in which the winner is decided based on overall performance across the events. It means the position of an athlete at the end of each event is not important, but points scored are regarded. The word “decathlon” was formed, in analogy to the word “pentathlon”, from Greek δέκα (déka, meaning “ten”) and ἄθλος (áthlos, or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning “contest” or “prize”). One who wins Decathlon, he/she gets regarded as the “World’s Greatest Athlete”. This article will give you all the details about this fantastic athletic event. 

Decathlon Origin

Modern Pentathlon, Image Source-Britannica

Ancient Greek Olympics used to have a competition called ‘pentathlon’ which consisted of 5 competitions under a single event. Those events were the long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, sprint, and a wrestling match.

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In 1884, a competition named “all-around” or “all-round” commenced in the USA, which had 10 events. Based on these two versions, the modern Decathlon came into existence in the 1912 Summer Olympics.

Decathlon Format

The players who take part in this event are called ‘decathletes’. The events are organized for over two days. Though the events in Decathlon for men and women are similar, the schedule is different. This has been done to not have a scene of both men’s and women’s competitions having the same event at the same time and the same location.

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Decathlon Events List

Men’s Decathlon events

Decathlon | KreedOn
Image Source- World Athletics
Day 1Day 2
100 meters110 meters hurdles
Long jumpDiscus throw
Shot putPole vault
High jumpJavelin throw
400 meters1500 meters

 Women’s Decathlon event

Decathlon | KreedOn
Women’s Hurdles, Image Source- Eurosport
Day 1Day 2
100 meters100 meters hurdles
Discus throwLong jump
Pole vaultShot put
Javelin throwHigh jump
400 meters1500 meters

These Decathlon events are organized in the same way at the Olympics as well. 

  • There are certain formulas to calculate the points of each athlete as the result is based on overall points rather than the end position.

Points = INT (A (B — P) C) for track events (faster time produces a higher score).

Points = INT (A (P — B) C) for field events (greater distance or height produces a higher score).

A, B and C are parameters that vary by discipline, as shown in the table below, while P is the performance by the athlete, measured in seconds (running), meters (throwing), or centimeters (jumping).

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The Events and the Parameters

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 vault0.27971001.35
Javelin throw10.1471.08
1500 m0.037684801.85

There are also certain benchmarks set by organizers to score 1000, 900, 800, and 700 points in each event. These benchmarks are as follows: –

Event1,000 pts900 pts800 pts700 ptsUnit
100 m10.39510.82711.27811.756Seconds
Long jump7.767.366.946.51Meters
Shot put18.4016.7915.1613.53Meters
High jump2.202.101.991.88Meters
400 m46.1748.1950.3252.58Seconds
110 m hurdles13.8014.5915.41916.29Seconds
Discus throw56.1751.446.5941.72Meters
Pole vault5.284.964.634.29Meters
Javelin throw77.1970.6764.0957.45Meters
1500 m3:53.794:07.424:21.774:36.96Minutes: Seconds

Decathlon world record holder

The official decathlon world record holder is Kevin Mayer of France, with a score of 9,126 points set during the 2018 Décastar in Talence, France.

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What are the 10 events that comprise the decathlon?

The events are organized for over two days. Though the events in Decathlon for men and women are similar, the schedule is different. The first day consists of 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m. On the 2nd day, the events are 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m.

Why is it called a decathlon?

The word “decathlon” was formed, in analogy to the word “pentathlon”, from Greek δέκα (déka, meaning “ten”) and ἄθλος (áthlos, or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning “contest” or “prize”). It consists of 10 events.

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Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh Sameer Karmarkar
Saurabh’s love for Test cricket has no limits. He indulges himself in listening to experts talking about Test cricket. Saurabh absolutely loves the way Aussies play the game. He is quite new to football, but football fever has taken complete control of him. He is an ardent Bayern Munich fan. Saurabh loves to write about sports. Other than sports, he is a voracious reader, a fitness freak, loves physics, loves to stay away from social media, and a Mechanical Engineer too!


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