Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before specializing


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Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before specializing

Postby dbirds » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:55 am

I read where David Rudisha started as a decathlete before specializing on the 800
http://www.iaaf.org/news/athletes/newsid=46175.html

Who are some others?

Bob Richards
Tia Hellebaut

Both come to mind
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dbirds » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:58 am

2 more good ones

Janis Lusis
Heike drechsler
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:10 am

Špotáková was 4th in heptathlon in WJC '00... 18 points from medaling.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby gh » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:11 am

I find it hard to believe that Bob Richards started as a decathlete, in an era when the decathlon was a curiousity not contested as the HS or college level. At least as a serioius one.

He scored in the AAU vault 4 years before he ever did in the decathlon (and scored in the NCAA the year before his first AAU score).
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby nevetsllim » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:20 am

Antonietta Di Martino

I think Rybakov was too.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dbirds » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:35 am

I could be wrong about Richards. Several star athletes dabbled with the deca some - sometimes I don't know what came first.

How bout Michelle Perry?
Wallace Spearmon was a deca in hs!
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Whitman » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:49 am

Wladyslaw Komar
Marla Runyan
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby highjumpfan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:56 am

Tim Bright, Alex Averbruk
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Pego » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:12 am

dbirds wrote:2 more good ones

Janis Lusis
Heike drechsler


My recollection may be faulty, but I remember Heike starting as a LJ'er, dabbling in multi and sprints later.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dbirds » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:17 am

She competed as heike daute as a heptathlete in her teens
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby gh » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:44 am

ATFS has a progression of Drechsler as a long jumper starting in '77, but no heptathlons before '81.

When you think about it, there are probably almost zero athletes who started as a multi-eventer. If somebody comes out for the sport, you find out what they're good at, and that's where there first meets are. The conscious decision to create a multi-eventer doesn't come until later in the game.

(having said that, I do recall that Washington State plucked a guy off the basketball team in the early '70s and he scored over 7000 points and scored in the NCAA; but it can be argued that he started as a hoops specialist first!)
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby bambam » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:47 am

And the only major event I know that Jim Brown competed in was the AAU Decathlon (?1955), but I seem to recall he played another sport pretty well (actually two).
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dbirds » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:11 am

gh wrote:
When you think about it, there are probably almost zero athletes who started as a multi-eventer. If somebody comes out for the sport, you find out what they're good at, and that's where there first meets are. The conscious decision to create a multi-eventer doesn't come until later in the game!)


True but a lot them compete seriously at it in their late teens/early 20s only to specialize a few years late like Hellebut, Perry, Bright etc
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby xygo » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:19 pm

Antonietta Di Martino
Naide Gomes
Olga Rypakova
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby rson » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:42 pm

Alejandro Cardenas of Mexico,later a 400 specialist.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Gabriella » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:49 am

gh wrote:ATFS has a progression of Drechsler as a long jumper starting in '77, but no heptathlons before '81.

When you think about it, there are probably almost zero athletes who started as a multi-eventer. If somebody comes out for the sport, you find out what they're good at, and that's where there first meets are. The conscious decision to create a multi-eventer doesn't come until later in the game.


Most East Germans started as 'multi eventers' and compete in Gala's in sprints, jumps and throws. Drechsler did this, winning the Spartakiad in the high jump and long jump. It still happens in Russia today (see the Klishina interview)
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Avante » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:01 pm

Tommie Smith....long jump, 100, 400 before settling in on the 200.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby 79. » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:25 pm

Ladji DOUDOURE, the French 2005 100m/h and 4x100m World champion was also a very promising
junior decathlete...
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Per Andersen » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:35 pm

Milt Campbell. I don't think he competed in the Decathlon after winning at Melbourne in '56.
In 1957 he competed in the high hurdles and set a WR in the 120y beating Olympic champ Lee Calhoun.

Pyotr Denisenko USSR. Decathlete around 1950 and later PVer, 4th in the 1952 Olympic PV.

I'll mention one more who nobody here has heard about, Norway's Per Stavem. 11th in the 1948 Olympic Decathlon and 8th in the 1952 SP.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dj » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:37 am

Per Andersen wrote:Milt Campbell. I don't think he competed in the Decathlon after winning at Melbourne in '56.
In 1957 he competed in the high hurdles and set a WR in the 120y beating Olympic champ Lee Calhoun.


Perhaps on an international level this is true. However, Campbell was quite accomplished in individual events by the time he competed in his first decathlon, the 1952 US Olympic Trials, following his junior year in high school. By then he had run 14.0 (39"), 19.0 (180y hurdles) and high jumped 6-4 1/4. The two hurdles races came at a time when the national high school records were 14.0 (13.7w) and 18.9.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dupontred » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:20 am

Jenn Stucynski Suhr was the NYS Pentathlon champ in high school. 2000? I think
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby dbirds » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:42 pm

Avante wrote:Tommie Smith....long jump, 100, 400 before settling in on the 200.


Thats multi events not a multi eventer
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby AS » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:39 pm

Didn't LJ WR-setter Jackie Joyner start out as a heptathlete? :wink:
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Powell » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:15 pm

Carolina Kluft ;)
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby nianchengyu » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:23 am

gh wrote:ATFS has a progression of Drechsler as a long jumper starting in '77, but no heptathlons before '81.

When you think about it, there are probably almost zero athletes who started as a multi-eventer. If somebody comes out for the sport, you find out what they're good at, and that's where there first meets are. The conscious decision to create a multi-eventer doesn't come until later in the game.

(having said that, I do recall that Washington State plucked a guy off the basketball team in the early '70s and he scored over 7000 points and scored in the NCAA; but it can be argued that he started as a hoops specialist first!)

first,before 1980,there are no official hep for women at all,it is called pentathlon.In August 15th,1980,heike daute took part in pen ,achieving a pb of pen 4329p,including a 1.80 HJ and 6.64m world 15-year-old best mark until now in Cuba.this year before doing the pentathlon, she also did hep which would substitute for pentathlon after 1980 oly,she established a score of 5780p in july 17-18th in cottbus,including a 24.03s 200m and 6.38m LJ.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Master Po » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:44 am

I suppose this example is more national level at this point, but Erica Moore, who just won USATF indoor 800m (2:01:08) & was 6th at USATF last year (2:00.xx) was a heptathlete (and 400/400h) in her collegiate career.

IAAF bio
http://www.iaaf.org/athletes/biographie ... index.html
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Vault-emort » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:01 am

Seoul 400H champ Debbie Flintoff-King and inaugural World Cup LJ Champ Lyn Jacenko both were more well-known as multi-eventers before specialising. So too with current Aussie 400H champ Lauren Boden.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby pakillo » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:43 am

Svetla Dimitrova (BUL) 4th place in the heptathlon(Stuttgart '93) and later successes in 100hurdles
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:42 pm

Bo Jackson
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Ref » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:51 am

Sally Gunnell.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby nianchengyu » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:16 am

pakillo wrote:Svetla Dimitrova (BUL) 4th place in the heptathlon(Stuttgart '93) and later successes in 100hurdles

Svetla Pishtikova,Née Dimitrova. At 100 hurdles won European Championships 1994 and 1998 and was 2nd at overall GP 1994. Suspended for a positive drugs test at 1989 European Cup heptathlon in which she had a performance (6534) which would have been a world junior record.
She can jump 1.88m at 16,but later she jumped lower and lower,only having a 1.60m in 1993 WC,Although placing 4th.Because a injury restrained her HJ,she give hep up in 1994.
6658 Svetla Pishtikova BUL 27/01/1970 2 Götzis 31/05/1992
( 13.41/-0.7 - 1.75 - 14.72 - 23.06/2.4 / 6.64/1.9 - 43.84 - 2:09.60
Disqualified (2 years ineligibility)
Mark Athlete Nation DOB Pos Venue Date
6534 Svetla Pishtikova BUL 27/01/1970 Helmond 16/07/1989
( 13.30/1.0 - 1.84 - 14.35 - 23.33/-2.2 / 6.47/-1.4 - 39.20 - 2:13.56 )
Svetla Dimtrova, placing 5th in Barcelona,6464p 13.23s 1.70m 14.68m 23.31s 6.11m 44.48m 2:07.90 ,before that in 1988 seoul,she finished 12th at 18-year-old,6171p 13.24s 1089 1.80m 978 12.02m 662 23.49s 1030 6.19m 908 37.62m 622 2:15.73s 882p,before in seoul oly, Svetla Pishtikova ,6289p , 1 Sudbury 30/07/1988
( 13.47/1.1 - 1.77 - 13.07 - 23.78/-1.6 / 6.45/3.1 - 39.98 - 2:14.39 )
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby nianchengyu » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:34 am

Currey Louise,Née McPaul,1996 oly javelin silver of women,placing 13th in hep in 1986 WJC,but her hep best achieved in 10th Jan 1993 ,5709p in Sydney.
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby Ref » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:41 am

Ref wrote:Sally Gunnell.

Apologies for replying to my own post, but I see that Sally is ranked one place above future OG champion Denise Lewis in the UK junior all-time lists:

http://www.gbrathletics.com/uk/wb20.htm
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Re: Athletes that started as a multi-eventer before speciali

Postby unclezadok » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:43 am

The mention of Komar above reminded me that Brian Oldfield tried the decathlon (not before shotputting success). I doubt that the officials stayed too close to the pit when he vaulted. I think he scored around 6000.
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