Athletics Pentathlon at the Olympics

There have been many variations of the pentathlon event at the Olympic Games, the one thing in common is that they comprise five different events. The modern pentathlon, which includes swimming, equestrian, fencing, pistol shooting and running, is the only one which is still held today.

At the Ancient Olympics there was a pentathlon event which involved a combination of five separate disciplines: Discus, Javelin, Jump, Running, and Wrestling. When the Olympic Games were revived, Pierre de Coubertin was keen to include a pentathlon event. At the 1906 intercalated games there was an ancient pentathlon event introduced to the track and field program. This event replicated the events of the pentathlon from the ancient Olympics, and comprised the standing long jump, ancient greek style discus, 192-meter run, javelin, Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Another athletics pentathlon event was part of the Olympic program from 1912 until 1924, the events were the long jump, javelin, 200-meter run, discus, and 1500-meter run. Since 1912, there has also been another multi-event on the athletics program, the decathlon.

An athletics pentathlon event for women was introduced at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, featuring the 80 metres hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump, and 200 metres. In 1976 and 1980 the format changed from 80 to 100 metres hurdles, and 200 to 800 metres. The event was discontinued in 1984, when it was replaced by the heptathlon.

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