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Composite athletic contest that consists of 10 different track-and-field competitions: the 100-, 400-, and 1,500-m runs, the 110-m high hurdles, the javelin and discus throws, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump. Introduced as a three-day event at the 1912 Olympic Games, it later became a two-day event. Competitors are scored according to a table established by the International Amateur Athletic Federation. Decathletes are often regarded as the finest all-around athletes in the world.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on decathlon, visit Britannica.com.