: an athletic contest involving participation by each contestant in five different events; especially : modern pentathlon
Examples of PENTATHLON
- the winner of the Olympic pentathlon
Origin of PENTATHLON
Greek, from penta-
First Known Use: 1603
pentathlon noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Athletic contest entailing five distinct types of competitions. In the ancient Olympic Games, the pentathlon included a sprint, the long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, and a wrestling match. A modified version (with a medium-distance race substituted for the wrestling match) was included in the revived Olympic Games (1912–24). The modern, or military, pentathlon, included in the Olympics from 1912 and made a team event in 1952, includes an equestrian steeplechase, fencing, pistol shooting, a freestyle swim, and a cross-country run. Women's pentathlon competition (shot put, high jump, hurdling race, sprint, and long jump) was replaced in 1981 by the heptathlon.
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