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The two-day men's decathlon competition began at the London Olympics.

The decathlon is a 10-event athletic contest that consists of the 100-meter, 400-meter, and 1500-meter runs, the 110-meter high hurdles, the javelin and discus throws, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump. The event was invented for the modern Olympic games in 1912, and is based on the pentathlon of the ancient Greek Olympics. Decathletes are often considered the finest all-around athletes in the world.

Decathlon comes from the Greek words meaning "ten" and "contest."

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