1912 Olympics Pentathlon

Six days before beginning the decathlon competition, Jim Thorpe won the Men’s Pentathlon (not to be confused with the Modern Pentathlon which will be discussed later). Unlike the decathlon, all five pentathlon events were held on the same day, July 7, 1912. The first event was the long jump which Jim Thorpe won with a jump of 7.07 meters. Average Brundage’s 6.83 meter jump was good enough for fourth place. Next up was the javelin which was won by Hugo Wieslander of Sweden with a throw of 49.56 meters. Thorpe’s 46.71 was good enough for third place while Brundage’s 42.85 was ninth. The third event was the 200-meter run which Thorpe won with a time of 22.9 seconds. Brundage came in 15th.

After three events were completed, only the top twelve were allowed to continue; the rest were eliminated. It isn’t clear to me if the rules called for only the top twelve to continue or if those with composite scores higher than 25 were eliminated. Either scheme arrives at the same place in this case. Jim Thorpe was the overall leaders at this point with two firsts and a third place finish for five points total (1+3+1). Avery Brundage’s 22 points (4+7+11) kept him in the game tied for seventh place.

Only the top six competitors were allowed to continue after the fourth event, the discus. Jim Thorpe won that one too with a throw of 35.57 meters. The discus throw must have been Avery Brundage’s best event because he placed second in it. When overall scores were recalculated to determine who made the cut, Thorpe was, of course, well ahead in first place at six points. Surprisingly, Brundage was tied for third with 22 points. Because two men tied for sixth place, seven were allowed to compete in the last event.

 <continued next time>

 

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