Combining seven different track and field events the heptathlon is an all-female event which tests the endurance, strength and all-round ability of the athlete, awarding contestants points in each event for their best performance. The heptathlon consists of the 100 m hurdles, the high jump, the shot put and the 200 m run on the first day of competition and the long jump, the javelin and the 800 m run on the second day.
Although on the whole most of the normal rules apply to each individual event included in the heptathlon there are some small variations. In the running events, athletes are permitted to make three false starts before being disqualified from the event. There are only three attempts allowed in each field event and should an athlete choose not to compete in one event, they are disqualified from the entire competition.
Record Breaker: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) – 7291 points, 24/09/1988
Like the heptathlon for female athletes, the decathlon tests the stamina and strength of male athletes through ten different track and field events spread over two days of competition, with points being awarded for the contestant’s best performance in each event. The decathlon consists of the 100m run, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump and the 400 m run on the first day and the 110 m hurdles, the discus, the pole vault, the javelin and the 1500 m run on the second day of the competition. The same rule variations apply to the decathlon as to the heptathlon.
Record Breaker: Roman Serble (CZE) – 9026 points, 27/05/2001