Track Fact

Apr 042005
Authors: Amanda Havekost


A heptathlon is two-day competition consisting of seven events for women. The athletes compete for the highest score possible against scoring tables.

During the two-day competition, athletes are pushed physically and mentally. During day one, they compete in the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and the 200.

Day two starts out with the long jump. Athletes then compete in the javelin and end with the 800. The winner is decided by a complicated point system that awards different points for each event.

The seven-event Heptathlon replaced the five-event Pentathlon in 1984. Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the most famous American heptathlon athlete, as she set the Olympic record and won a gold medal in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, with a score of 7,291 points. She won the gold again in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

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