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Heptathlon for Women at Olympics


Heptathlon for Women at Olympics: Heptathlon is a combined event contested by women at international athletics competitions. Heptathlon consists of seven events. Three of the events are track events and four field events. The events included in the Heptathlon program are-

  • 100 meter hurdles
  • High jump
  • Shot put
  • 200 meter event
  • Long jump
  • Javelin throw
  • 800 meter event

The heptathlon events are contested in two days. On the first day, athletes compete in are 100 meter hurdles, high jump shot put and 200 meter event. The events held on the second day are long jump, javelin throw and 800 meter event.

The combined event first contested by women was "pentathlon". Later, the seven event heptathlon replaced pentathlon from women's athletics program in major competitions. The name of the event was chosen "heptathlon", a Greek word. The word consists of two parts- "hepta" meaning "seven" and "athlon" meaning

"contest". The event was authorized by the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF in 1981. The events contested in the heptathlon competition test all the straits of an athlete's athletic power. Athletes have to be proficient in all the events to succeed in the competition. However, they need not be in the top three positions. The athletes are given points for their performance in the events. The points are tallied to determine the winner of the event.

Heptathlon for Women in Summer Olympics: Heptathlon was included in the women's athletics program in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games. The event replaced the old event, pentathlon, which was on schedule since the 1964 Games. Heptathlon has been contested regularly at the Olympics after the 1984 Olympics.

Rules for Heptathlon for Women: The International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF is responsible for setting rules for the track and field events. The rules followed during the heptathlon competition at the international level are -

  • Competing in all the seven events is compulsory for the athletes. Otherwise they will not be considered as participants of the heptathlon competition.
  • Generally a gap of 30 minutes is given between two events. However, the time of interval is flexible.
  • If any athlete is found fouling her competitors during the competition, her points are deducted for that event. The athlete can be disqualified from the competition for a serious offence. She is not allowed to compete in the next events.
  • A completely automatic timing device should be used to keep times in the events. The mean of three time readings or the lower of the two times is considered to be final, when time is recorded manually.
  • The individual and total scores of the athletes are declared after the completion of each event.
  • In each of the shot put, javelin throw, high jump and long jump events, three chances are allowed to an athlete.
  • During the high jump event, the organizing committee should determine the initial height, with which the event has to be started.
  • Generally, the 100 meter hurdle event is contested in adjacent lanes.
  • In the shot put, javelin throw, high jump and long jump events, metric system is used for taking measurements. A steel tape is used to take the measurements.
  • The winner of heptathlon is the athlete with the highest point after the completion of all the events. The tie in the first position is broken by evaluating the event wise performance of the athletes.
Medal Winners in the Heptathlon for Women: Anke Behmer, Natalya Shubenkova, Eunice Barber, Ramona Neubert, Ghada Shouaa, Sabine Braun, Carolina Kluft, Larisa Turchinskaya, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Denise Lewis, Natallia Sazanovich and Irina Belova are some of the athletes who excelled in the domain of heptathlon competition at international level.
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