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decathlon (dĭkăthˈlŏn), in modern Olympic games, a contest for men held over two days and composed of 10 track-and-field events. It consists of the long jump; the high jump; the discus throw; the shot putt; the javelin throw; the 100-, 400-, and 1,500-meter races; the 110-meter hurdle race; and the pole vault. The decathlon became an Olympic event in 1912. The winner is popularly regarded as the “world's greatest athlete”; noted among these are the Americans Jim Thorpe, Bob Mathias, and Bruce Jenner and the British Daley Thompson. The ancient pentathlon, a five-event contest, resembled the modern decathlon.

The heptathlon is the equivalent modern event for women, consisting of seven track-and-field events. Begun as an Olympic pentathlon in 1964, it was expanded in 1984 and now includes the long jump; the high jump; the shot put; the javelin throw; the 200- and 800-meter races; and the 100-meter hurdles. Like the decathlon, the heptathlon is held over two days. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who dominated the heptathlon during the 1990s, is the best-known athlete in the event's relatively short history.

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an athletic contest for women in which each athlete competes in seven different events
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
She added: "It's nice being alongside Thiam; she is one of the main competitors in the heptathlon.
After missing the indoor season through injury, Thiam achieved a world-leading total of 6,819 points, on her return to heptathlon action in June, setting a world and personal best of 2.02m for the high jump within a heptathlon, and a Belgian long jump record of 6.67m on her way to victory.
Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], Sept 28 ( ANI ): Heptathlon Athlete Swapna Barman has revealed that she still does not own a proper pair of shoes to compete in the upcoming competitions, despite bagging a gold medal for the country in the recently-held Asian Games in Jakarta.
But given the world-class field, the 25-year-old (above) said: "I feel this is a turning point, that I've figured out how to do the heptathlon.
Johnson-Thompson was just 57 points behind heptathlon champion Thiam, with the Belgian adding the crown to her world and Olympic titles.
Johnson-with her Heptathlon "My aim this year was to build a winning habit.
Johnson-Thompson watched last year's Olympic high jump final from the stands, and was frustrated that her heptathlon performance would have been good enough for gold.
WINNERS Bolt with Jess and her fellow heptathlon medallists
"I've just got to make a decision as to whether this is my last heptathlon or not," said a tearful Ennis-Hill.
This showing, in only her third heptathlon since London 2012, was emphatic proof that Ennis-Hill is back fit and firing after the achilles injury she picked up over the winter, which ruled her out of the indoor season and forced her to withdraw from last month's prestigious Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis.
BIRMINGHAM (CyHAN)- Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill, the reigning women's Olympic heptathlon champion, has withdrawn from Sunday's IAAF Diamond League in Birmingham to concentrate on her preparation for the Beijing World Championships.
JESSICA Ennis-Hill has set her sights on qualifying for next year's Olympics when she takes part in her first heptathlon since winning London 2012 gold at the end of the month.