A heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events. The name derives from the Greek επτά (hepta, meaning “seven”) and ἄθλος (áthlos, or ἄθλον, áthlon, meaning "feat"). A competitor in a heptathlon is referred to as a heptathlete.
|Men||Ashton Eaton 6645 pts (2012)|
|Women||Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7291 pts (1988)|
|Women||Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7291 pts (1988)|
|World Championship records|
|Men||Ashton Eaton 6645 pts (2012)|
|Women||Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7128 pts (1987)|
There are two heptathlons – the men's and the women's heptathlon – composed of different events. The men's heptathlon is older and is held indoors, while the women's is held outdoors and was introduced in the 1980s, first appearing in the Olympics in 1984.
Women's heptathlon is the combined event for women contested in the athletics programme of the Olympics and at the IAAF World Championships. The IAAF Combined Events Challenge determines a yearly women's heptathlon champion. The women's outdoor heptathlon consists of the following events, with the first four contested on the first day, and the remaining three on day two:
The heptathlon has been contested by female athletes since the early 1980s, when it replaced the pentathlon as the primary women's combined event contest (the javelin throw and 800 m were added). It was first contested at the Olympic level in the 1984 Summer Olympics. In recent years some women's decathlon competitions have been conducted, consisting of the same events as the men's competition in a slightly different order, and the IAAF has begun keeping records for it, but the heptathlon remains the championship-level combined event for women. Nafissatou Thiam, representing Belgium, is the 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist and reigning European Champion, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, representing Great Britain, is the current World Champion and Commonwealth Champion. Odile Ahouanwanou, Yekaterina Voronina, Kiara Reddingius, Luisarys Toledo and Ariana Ince hold the African, Asian, Oceanian, South American and NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) titles respectively. Adriana Rodríguez, Marthe Koala, Swapna Barman and Elenani Tinai hold the Panamerican Games, African Games, Asian Games and Pacific Games titles respectively.
There is also a Tetradecathlon, which is a double heptathlon, consisting of 14 events, seven events per day.
The heptathlon scoring system was devised by Dr Karl Ulbrich, a Viennese mathematician. The formulae are constructed so that, for each event, a designated benchmark performance (for example, approximately 1.82 m for the high jump) scores 1000 points. Each event also has a minimum recordable performance level (e.g. 0.75 m for the high jump), corresponding to zero points. The formulae are devised so that successive constant increments in performance correspond to gradually increasing increments in points awarded.
- Running events (200 m, 800 m and 100 m hurdles):
- Jumping events (high jump and long jump):
- Throwing events (shot put and javelin):
P is for points, T is for time in seconds, M is for height or length in centimeters and D is length in meters. a, b and c have different values for each of the events, as follows:
|100 metres hurdles||9.23076||26.7||1.835|
The following table shows the benchmark levels needed to earn 1000, 900, 800 and 700 points in each event.
|Event||1,000 pts||900 pts||800 pts||700 pts||Unit|
|100 m hurdles||13.85||14.56||15.32||16.12||Seconds|
Women's world records compared with heptathlon bests
|Event||Type||Athlete||Record||Score||Percentage /Points difference||Notes/Ref|
|100 m hurdles|
|WR||Kendra Harrison||12.20 s||1248||97.29%|
|HB||Jessica Ennis||12.54 s||1195||−53|
|WR||Stefka Kostadinova||2.09 m||1359||94.74%|
|HB||Nafissatou Thiam||2.02 m||1264||−95|
|WR||Natalya Lisovskaya||22.63 m||1378||76.49%|
|HB||Austra Skujytė||17.31 m||1016||−362|
|WR||Florence Griffith Joyner||21.34 s||1251||95.70%|
|HB||Jackie Joyner Kersee||22.30 s||1150||−101|
|WR||Galina Chistyakova||7.52 m||1351||96.68%|
|HB||Jackie Joyner Kersee||7.27 m||1264||−87|
|WR||Barbora Špotáková||72.28 m||1295||84.26%||current 1999 model|
|HB||Barbora Špotáková||60.90 m||1072||−223||current 1999 model|
|WR||Petra Felke||80.00 m||1448||80.80%||old model|
|HB||Tessa Sanderson||64.64 m||1145||−303||old model|
|WR||Jarmila Kratochvílová||1:53.28 min:s||1224||92.97%|
|HB||Nadine Debois||2:01.84 min:s||1087||−137|
The other version is an indoor competition, normally contested by men only. It is the men's combined event in the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics. The men's indoor heptathlon consists of the following events, with the first four contested on the first day, and remaining three on day two:
The scoring is similar for both versions. In each event, the athlete scores points for his/her performance in each event according to scoring tables issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The athlete accumulating the highest number of points wins the competition.
The following table shows the minimum benchmark levels required to earn 1000 points in each event.
|60 m hurdles||7.69||Seconds|
Men's world records compared with heptathlon bests
|Event||Type||Athlete||Record||Score||Difference in points scored||Ref|
|WR||Christian Coleman||6.34 s||1130|
|HB||Chris Huffins||6.61 s||1026||−104|
|WR||Carl Lewis||8.79 m||1268|
|HB||Ashton Eaton||8.16 m||1102||−166|
|WR||Ryan Crouser||22.82 m||1276|
|HB||Aleksey Drozdov||17.17 m||924||−352|
|WR||Javier Sotomayor||2.43 m||1223|
|HB||Derek Drouin||2.30 m||1091||−132|
|60 m hurdles|
|WR||Grant Holloway||7.29 s||1168|
|HB||Ashton Eaton||7.60 s||1083||−85|
|WR||Armand Duplantis||6.18 m||1284|
|HB||Alex Averbukh||5.60 m||1100||−184|
All-time top 25
|1||7291||Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA)||Seoul||23–24 September 1988|
|2||7032||Carolina Klüft (SWE)||Osaka||25–26 August 2007|
|3||7013||Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)||Götzis||27–28 May 2017|
|4||7007||Larisa Nikitina (URS)||Bryansk||10–11 June 1989|
|5||6985||Sabine Braun (GER)||Götzis||30–31 May 1992|
|6||6981||Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR)||Doha||2–4 October 2019|
|7||6955||Jessica Ennis (GBR)||London||3–4 August 2012|
|8||6946||Sabine Paetz (GDR)||Potsdam||5–6 May 1984|
|9||6942||Ghada Shouaa (SYR)||Götzis||25–26 May 1996|
|10||6935||Ramona Neubert (GDR)||Moscow||18–19 June 1983|
|11||6889||Eunice Barber (FRA)||Arles||4–5 June 2005|
|12||6859||Natalya Shubenkova (URS)||Kyiv||20–21 June 1984|
|13||6858||Anke Behmer (GDR)||Seoul||23–24 September 1988|
|14||6847||Irina Belova (RUS)||Barcelona||1–2 August 1992|
|15||6836||Carolin Schäfer (GER)||Götzis||27–28 May 2017|
|16||6832||Lyudmila Blonska (UKR)||Osaka||25–26 August 2007|
|17||6831||Denise Lewis (GBR)||Götzis||29–30 July 2000|
|18||6815||Laura Ikauniece-Admidiņa (LAT)||Götzis||27–28 May 2017|
|19||6808||Brianne Theisen-Eaton (CAN)||Götzis||30–31 May 2015|
|20||6803||Jane Frederick (USA)||Talence||15–16 September 1984|
|21||6778||Nataliya Dobrynska (UKR)||Barcelona||30–31 July 2010|
|22||6765||Yelena Prokhorova (RUS)||Tula||22–23 July 2000|
|23||6750||Ma Miaolan (CHN)||Beijing||11–12 September 1993|
|24||6742||Yorgelis Rodriguez (CUB)||Götzis||26–27 May 2018|
|25||6741||Heike Drechsler (GER)||Talence||10–11 September 1994|
Below is a list of all other scores equal or superior to 6875 pts:
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee also scored 7215 (1988), 7158 (1986), 7148 (1986), 7128 (1987), 7044 (1992), 6979 (1987), 6910 (1986), 6878 (1991).
- Carolina Klüft also scored 7001 (2003), 6952 (2004), 6887 (2005).
- Jessica Ennis also scored 6906 (2012).
- Sabine John (Paetz) also scored 6897 (1988).
- Larisa Nikitina also scored 6875 (1989).
The following athletes have had their performances (inside 6741) annulled due to doping offense:
- Tatyana Chernova scored 6880 (2011).
- As of December 2020[update]
|1||6645||Ashton Eaton (USA)||9–10 March 2012||Istanbul|
|2||6479||Kevin Mayer (FRA)||4–5 March 2017||Belgrade|
|3||6476||Dan O'Brien (USA)||13–14 March 1993||Toronto|
|4||6438||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||6–7 March 2004||Budapest|
|5||6424||Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)||25–26 February 2000||Ghent|
|6||6418||Christian Plaziat (FRA)||28–29 February 1992||Genoa|
|7||6415||Sebastian Chmara (POL)||28 February–1 March 1998||Valencia|
|8||6412||Lev Lobodin (RUS)||7–8 February 2003||Moscow|
|9||6374||Erki Nool (EST)||6–7 March 1999||Maebashi|
|10||6372||Eelco Sintnicolaas (NED)||2–3 March 2013||Gothenburg|
|11||6371||Bryan Clay (USA)||8–9 March 2008||Valencia|
|12||6362||Mikk Pahapill (EST)||7–8 March 2009||Turin|
|13||6361||Tom Pappas (USA)||15–16 March 2003||Birmingham|
|14||6353||Ilya Shkurenev (RUS)||7–8 March 2015||Prague|
|15||6343||Damian Warner (CAN)||2–3 March 2018||Birmingham|
|16||6320||Artem Makarenko (RUS)||16–17 February 2020||Kirov|
|17||6303||Andrei Krauchanka (BLR)||7–8 March 2014||Sopot|
|18||6300||Aleksey Drozdov (RUS)||12–13 March 2010||Penza|
|19||6293||Jón Arnar Magnússon (ISL)||6–7 March 1999||Maebashi|
|20||6291||Frank Busemann (GER)||2–3 February 2002||Tallinn|
|21||6279||Mike Smith (CAN)||13–14 March 1993||Toronto|
|Arthur Abele (GER)||7–8 March 2015||Prague|
|23||6273||Jeremy Taiwo (USA)||27–28 February 2015||Boston|
|24||6265||Maicel Uibo (EST)||2–3 March 2018||Birmingham|
|25||6264||Karel Tilga (EST)||12-13 March 2021||Fayetteville|
Below is a list of all other scores equal or superior to 6319 pts:
- Ashton Eaton also scored 6632 (2014), 6568 (2011), 6499 (2010), 6470 (2016).
- Roman Šebrle also scored 6420 (2001), 6358 (2000), 6350 (2004), 6319 (1999).
- Kevin Mayer also scored 6392 (2021), 6348 (2018).
- Sebastian Chmara also scored 6386 (1999).
- Bryan Clay also scored 6365 (2004).
- Eelco Sintnicolaas also scored 6341 (2013).
Women's Olympic medalists
Women's World Championships medalists
Men's World Indoor Championships medalists
||Christian Plaziat (FRA)||Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)||Henrik Dagård (SWE)|
||Robert Změlík (CZE)||Erki Nool (EST)||Jón Magnússon (ISL)|
||Sebastian Chmara (POL)||Erki Nool (EST)||Roman Šebrle (CZE)|
||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Jón Magnússon (ISL)||Lev Lobodin (RUS)|
||Tom Pappas (USA)||Lev Lobodin (RUS)||Roman Šebrle (CZE)|
||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Bryan Clay (USA)||Lev Lobodin (RUS)|
||André Niklaus (GER)||Bryan Clay (USA)||Roman Šebrle (CZE)|
||Bryan Clay (USA)||Andrei Krauchanka (BLR)||Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ)|
||Bryan Clay (USA)||Trey Hardee (USA)||Aleksey Drozdov (RUS)|
||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Oleksiy Kasyanov (UKR)||Artem Lukyanenko (RUS)|
||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Andrei Krauchanka (BLR)||Thomas van der Plaetsen (BEL)|
||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Oleksiy Kasyanov (UKR)||Mathias Brugger (GER)|
||Kevin Mayer (FRA)||Damian Warner (CAN)||Maicel Uibo (EST)|
Men's indoor heptathlon
|1999||6386||Sebastian Chmara (POL)||Maebashi|
|2000||6424||Tomáš Dvořák (CZE)||Ghent|
|2001||6420||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Lisbon|
|2002||6291||Frank Busemann (GER)||Tallinn|
|2003||6412||Lev Lobodin (RUS)||Moscow|
|2004||6438||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Budapest|
|2005||6232||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Madrid|
|2006||6229||Aleksandr Pogorelov (RUS)||Moscow|
|2007||6196||Roman Šebrle (CZE)||Birmingham|
|2008||6371||Bryan Clay (USA)||Valencia|
|2009||6362||Mikk Pahapill (EST)||Turin|
|2010||6499||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Fayetteville|
|2011||6568||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Tallinn|
|2012||6645||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Istanbul|
|2013||6372||Eelco Sintnicolaas (NED)||Gothenburg|
|2014||6632||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Sopot|
|2015||6353||Ilya Shkurenyov (RUS)||Prague|
|2016||6470||Ashton Eaton (USA)||Portland|
|2017||6479||Kevin Mayer (FRA)||Belgrade|
|2018||6348||Kevin Mayer (FRA)||Birmingham|
|2019||6218||Jorge Ureña (SPA)||Glasgow|
|2020||6320||Artyom Makarenko (RUS)||Kirov|
NR's equal or superior to 6200 pts:
Men's indoor heptathlon
NR's equal or superior to 6000 pts:
Other multiple event contests include:
- Summer sports
- Pentathlon (athletics)
- Modern pentathlon
- Hexathlon (primarily a youth or junior event)
- Octathlon (primarily a youth or junior event although logistical problems have seen senior octathlons contested, for example at the 2007 South Pacific Games)
- Winter sports
- Women's javelin was redesigned in 1999 and all records started fresh. Point allocation for Heptathlon remained the same, but the comparison is being made between the WR and Heptathlon best of the current model.
Notes and references
- "Heptathlon – Definition". Merriam-webster.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Holders correct as of 2020. The European Games does not feature a heptathlon event.
- "London 2012: Jessica Ennis leads heptathlon after first day", The Guardian, 3 August 2012
- "IAAF Scoring Tables for Combined Events" (PDF). IAAF. April 2004. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 10, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Women's Heptathlon 100 Metres Hurdles Results". IAAF. August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Women's Heptathlon Shot Put Results". IAAF. August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Hans van Kuijen (September 16, 2012). "Van Alphen and Yosypenko prevail in Talence – IAAF Combined Events Challenge". IAAF. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- Archived September 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Long Jump Results" (PDF). IAAF. March 9, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- Krajewski, Casey (February 22, 2013). "Drouin Jumps to World Record in Heptathlon". Indiana Daily Student. Archived from the original on June 6, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Heptathlon – women – senior – outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-25.
- Diego Sampaolo (May 28, 2017). "Thiam scores 7013 to break meeting record in Götzis". IAAF. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Heptathlon Results" (PDF). IAAF. October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
- Diego Sampaolo (May 27, 2018). "World leads for Thiam and Warner in Gotzis". IAAF. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Heptathlon – men – senior – indoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-25.
- "Men's Heptathlon Results" (PDF). European Athletics. March 5, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
- "Men's Heptathlon Results" (PDF). IAAF. March 3, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- "Артем Макаренко завоевал золото на ЧР по семиборью в помещении". mir-la.com (in Russian). February 18, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.