The heptathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of seven track and field events. The word heptathlon is of Greek origin (from hepta [seven] and athlos [contest]). Events are held over two consecutive days and the winners are determined by the combined performance in all. Performance is measured on a points system in each event, not by the position achieved.
The heptathlon is contested mainly by female athletes, while male athletes typically compete in the decathlon. 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. Introduced in Olympia during 708 BC, the competition was extremely popular for many centuries.
The Olympic heptathlon was introduced at the 1984 Games, replacing the Pentathlon which had first taken place at the 1964 Games. The vast majority of international and top level women's heptathlons are divided into a two-day competition, with the track and field events held in the order below.
Traditionally, all heptathletes who finish the event do a round of honour together after the competition, rather than just the winner or medalling athletes.
Events in Order :-
2012 Olympic Champion: Jessica Ennis (GBR)
Olympic Record: 7291pts – Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA – 1988)
British Gold Medallists: Denise Lewis (2000); Jessica Ennis (2012); (Mary Peters won Pentathlon Gold in 1972).
World Record: 7291pts – Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA – 1988)
British Record: 6955pts Jessica Ennis-Hill (2012)
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