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Definition: pentathlon from Philip's Encyclopedia

Athletic competition that originated in ancient Greece and consisting of five events. The modern pentathlon is an Olympic sport for women, consisting of the 100m hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump and 200m.

Summary Article: Pentathlon (Greek pente, ‘five’, and athlon, ‘contest’)
from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

An athletic contest of five events, usually the jump, javelin throw, 200-metre race, discus throw and 1500-metre flat race. In the OLYMPIC GAMES the modern pentathlon is a team event consisting of a 600-metre equestrian steeplechase, a series of fencing matches, pistol shooting, a 300-metre swim and a 4000-metre cross-country run. Women do not compete in this, although from 1964 to 1980 in the Olympics there was a pentathlon for individual women athletes consisting of shot put, high jump, 80-metre hurdles, 200-metre race and long jump (it was superseded by the HEPTATHLON). In the ancient Olympic Games the contest consisted of running (the length of the stadium, about 180 or 200 yards (160-180m)), long jump, throwing the discus and javelin, and wrestling. See also DECATHLON.

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2012

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