Hepthathlete Jessica Ennis (Getty images)

Heptathlon

Image 2 of Heptathlete used in IAAF Disciplines (Getty images)

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Katarina Johnson-Thompson 6682 Great Britain & N.I. GBR
2 Brianne Theisen Eaton 6641 Canada CAN
3 Dafne Schippers 6545 Netherlands NED
4 Nadine Broersen 6539 Netherlands NED
5 Nafissatou Thiam 6508 Belgium BEL

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Jackie Joyner-Kersee 7291 United States USA
2 Carolina Klüft 7032 Sweden SWE
3 Larisa Turchinskaya 7007 Russia RUS
4 Sabine Braun 6985 Germany GER
5 Jessica Ennis-Hill 6955 Great Britain & N.I. GBR

Heptathlon

How it works

This is the women’s ultimate all-round test, a seven-event contest covering the whole range of athletics disciplines and spread over two days.

Competitors earn points for their performance in each discipline and the overall winner is the athlete who accrues the most points.

The first day consists of (in order): 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put and 200m. Day two comprises Long Jump, Javelin Throw and 800m.

History

Women first competed in the Pentathlon – five disciplines – at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This format was later replaced by the Heptathlon, with the addition of the javelin and 800m. The enlarged event was first contested at the 1983 IAAF World Championships and then the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Did you know

The 7000-point barrier has only been breeched on nine occasions, and by just three women. Six of those marks came from the American star Jackie Joyner-Kersee. The Heptathlon came onto the programme of major events in 1981, at the likes of the Asian Championships and World Student Games.

Gold standard

Sweden's Carolina Kluft is the most successful heptathlete in IAAF World Championships history, winning three consecutive gold medals in 2003, 2005 and 2007. In fact, Kluft was unbeaten in 22 Heptathlon and indoor Pentathlon competitions from March 2002 until her international retirement at the end of the 2012 season, a streak which included winning at the 2004 Olympic Games, although she did not compete in multi-events competitions from March 2008. 

Icons

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

After taking the silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in front of her family and friends in Los Angeles, the American enjoyed an unprecedented period of success.

In the Heptathlon alone, as she was also a world-class long jumper, she won successive Olympic Games gold medals in 1988 and 1992, and also had victories at the 1987 and 1993 IAAF World Championships.

She has the six best Heptathlon marks of all-time including the World record of 7291 points, set when winning her first Olympic title in Seoul. She was inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame in 2012.