French triple jumper Benjamin Compaore just competed in Talence. Over the years, dozens of athletes (Roger Kingdom, Andre Phillips, etc etc) have mentioned trying a decathlon but few have ever done it. I know Brian Oldfield tried one in the 1970s. What other individual event US athletes have tried a decathlon? (I know several European pole vaulters have attempted one but I don't see this happening much in the US)
If you categorize "individual athletes" as ones good enough in an event to be world ranked, then it was not so uncommon in the past (50+ years ago) for US world ranked decathletes to be also world ranked "individual athletes." Some, with at least some of their World ranked individual events: Bob Richards- PV Bob Mathias- HH, Discus Floyd Simmons- HH, Jav Milt Campbell- HH Rafer Johnson- LJ Bill Albans- HH Lloyd Duff- HH Moon Mondschein- HJ
I think - and please correct me if I'm wrong - that all those mentioned were decathletes early in their careers, and also competed at a very high level in an individual event or two. I think dbirds was asking about a different trajectory: Are there US athletes other than Oldfield who achieved US/world ranking in an individual event, and then afterwards attempted and did pretty well in a decathlon?
Pretty sure that Oldfield's foray into the decathlon came in the years between his collegiate career and his reemergence as a world-class putter, like in the late '60s. Also thinking it wasn't good enough to make the U.S. list, so "did pretty well" perhaps a bit of an overstatement.
Fortius19 wrote:I remember reading a long time ago on the www, that either Reidel or Schult (?) threw around 66m in a Deca, but only scored around 6200 points, so his mark never was really counted. I have recently been unable to verify this mark.
Throwers of track & field wrote:Juergen Schult has, in 1994 in Schwerin, was a fun decathlon that included a few throwers.
In 1976, Guy Drut, the French Olympic champion on 110m hurdles, was in Talence for the first edition of what was to become the decastar ! He has promised to participate to this decathlon if he was Olympic champion in Montreal ! He ranked 5th after having set the best performance on 110m hurdles while a young man, Daley Thompson, beat the junior world record !
In 1994, Heike Dreschler won the heptatlon.
Another French Olympic champion, Jean Galfione was present in 1996 and jumped 5m75 at the pole, establishing the best performance for a decathlon.
When the topic was first posted I was going to mention to mention Martin Lauer and Guy Drut, and then saw that the post was limited to athletes from the USA. Since others have re-directed the topic to a less parochial view, I'll take credit for the up to now not mentioned Martin Lauer.
A few years after the auto crash of 1960 that took him out of the Olympics and cost him his sight in one eye, South Africa's Gert Potgieter competed in a decathlon.
In 1976, Guy Drut, the French Olympic champion on 110m hurdles, was in Talence for the first edition of what was to become the decastar ! He has promised to participate to this decathlon if he was Olympic champion in Montreal !....
And as I recall he was on target for an 8000-point score at a time when not all that many athletes had done so, but given his heavy smoking habit he only had a 9-event score. Don't remember if he DNFed the 1500 or didn't even bother to start.
Bob Gutowski? I was thinking that he probably had potential in the decathlon. In just looking on the net I saw one reference to his setting his long jump best in the AAU Decathlon of 1960. Knowing the net to have more than its share of errors, did he finish that or any other decathlon competitions?
Topically, the results on that page include a discus win for Alex Black - brother of 1976 OG hammer 7th-placer and former Commonwealth record holder Chris - in the days before he changed specialism to javelin. Alex actually competed in the decathlon in his early days. Conversely, Stewart McCallum (also on the page) competed latterly in the decathlon.
Don Shy. World Ranked 9th in the decathlon in 1965 and 2nd in the high hurdles in 1966. Later shared the Chicago Bears backfield with Roger Sayers' (World Ranked in the 100/200 in 1962) kid brother Gale (24'11¾" LJ in 1961 as prep).
As of now, I have 2 athletes that ranked as an individual event (Oldfield and Gutowski) that did compete in the decathlon and were not "real decathletes". Shy, Pratt and Shinnick all had US rankings in the decathlon meaning they trained in the decathlon too and would not necessarily count as pure individual athletes. Although all 3 deserve credit for their amazing dual performances.