What is the Heptathlon?
A heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events.
The name derives from
the Greek hepta (seven) and athlon (contest).
A competitor in a heptathlon is referred to as a heptathlete.
There are two heptathlons – the women's heptathlon and the men's –
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 program
of the Olympics and in the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
The IAAF World Combined Events
Challenge determines a yearly women's heptathlon
champion. The women's outdoor heptathlon consists of seven
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. Tatyana Chernova is the current World Champion, winning in Daegu in 2011.
Jessica Ennis representing Great Britain, is the 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist.