Guide to the Heptathlon

August 1st, 2016 Posted by News, News from Rio No Comment yet

Your guide to the heptathlon

Jess’ Rio debut is only a matter of days away, but those of you who’ve never watched the heptathlon before will no doubt be keen to know what the event is all about.

Here’s the lowdown to get you started before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing.

What is the heptathlon?

As the name suggests, the heptathlon is made up of seven different events. Women used to compete in the pentathlon, until two extra events were introduced to make it seven.

The women’s heptathlon first featured in the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games back in 1984 and has been a fixture ever since.

How does the scoring work?

Jess-Omega 2015Each competitor is awarded points based on their performance in each event, with the winner being the person with the most points after all seven.

A scoring system is based on benchmarks that represent a standard level of performance for every event. A competitor is awarded 1,000 points whenever they meet this standard, but a sliding scale means they can earn more or less points depending on their performance.

The 7,000-point barrier has been exceeded on nine occasions in the event’s history, so all eyes will be on Rio this year to see if a 10th is possible!

You might be interested to know that Jess’ personal best score means she’s ranked fifth on the list of all-time best heptathletes. It also happens to be the British and Commonwealth record. Go Jess!

Which events make up the heptathlon?

jess-HJ-worlds2015So, which disciplines will Jess take on at Rio 2016? They always follow this set order no matter when or where the event takes place:

  • 100-metre hurdles
  • High jump
  • Shot put
  • 200 metres
  • Long jump
  • Javelin
  • 800 metres

The events are scheduled over two days (or three if you take the four-hour time difference into account!) Make sure you check out Jess’ Rio schedule and tune in to support her and see if she can defend her Olympic gold medal from London 2012.


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