The heptathlon is still a fairly new Olympic sport. The first women’s pentathlon, consisting of five events, was held in 1964, then was replaced by the seven-event heptathlon in 1984. There have been some outstanding heptathlon performances since then, but none as strong as those of the swift and powerful American, Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
1. 1988 - Joyner-Kersee sets the standardFew athletes have dominated an event the way Jackie Joyner-Kersee dominated the heptathlon in 1988. She gained her first Olympic heptathlon gold medal in the Seoul Games, beating all her top competitors in the first event, the 100-meter hurdles, and never looking back to win with an Olympic-record 7291 points. She beat her top foes in the high jump, 200-meter dash and in her specialty, the long jump. Five days later, she won the long jump gold with an Olympic record leap of 7.40 meters. Both Olympic marks still stand. Joyner-Kersee also scored a silver medal in the heptathlon in 1984 and gained a second gold in 1992.
2. 2000 - Lewis ralliesThe heptathlon gold medalist has generally taken charge of the event on day one. In Sydney, however, Great Britain’s Denise Lewis was in third place, although she trailed the leader, Nataliya Sazanovich of Belarus, by a manageable 51 points. Lewis moved into second place after the fifth event, the long jump, though she slipped 57 points behind the leader. Lewis then won the javelin event to take the lead by 62 points over Sazanovich and 146 points ahead of Russia’s Yelena Prokhorova, whose best event, the 800, was next. Prokhorova and Sazanovich both finished ahead of Lewis in the 800, but the Britain stayed close enough to with the gold with 6584 points, 53 more than runner-up Prokhorova.