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Athletics at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games:

Men's Decathlon

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Host City: Antwerpen, Belgium
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Antwerpen
Date Started: August 20, 1920
Date Finished: August 21, 1920
Format: Scoring by 1912B point tables.

Gold: NOR Helge Løvland
Silver: USA Brutus Hamilton
Bronze: SWE Bertil Ohlson

Summary

The decathlon was not on the original 1920 Olympic Program, as the organizers decided that the pentathlon would suffice for the multi-eventers. But the decathlon was eventually added to the Program and Helge Løvland of Norway won the event. Through 1988, he remains the oldest Olympic decathlon champion in history. Løvland had set a world record in the decathlon in 1919 of 7,786.92 points, although it was inferior to Jim Thorpe’s mark. He had also set three world records in the pentathlon in 1918-19. The 1920 decathlon was the closest in Olympic history, with Løvland coming from behind to win the gold medal in the 1,500 metres when he outran Brutus Hamilton by 9.4 seconds. In an interview many years later, when asked if he could have defeated Thorpe in his prime, Løvland replied, “Oh, no, he was too good.”

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal P(1912BT) P(1985T)
1 Helge Løvland 29 Norway NOR Gold 6,803.355 5.803
2 Brutus Hamilton 19 United States USA Silver 6,771.085 5.739
3 Bertil Ohlson 21 Sweden SWE Bronze 6,580.030 5.640
4 Gösta Holmér 28 Sweden SWE 6,532.150 5.551
5 Evert Nilsson 25 Sweden SWE 6,433.530 5.371
6 Valdemar Wickholm 29 Finland FIN 6,405.460 5.630
7 Gene Vidal 25 United States USA 6,358.570 5.489
8 Axel-Erik Gyllenstolpe 26 Sweden SWE 6,331.435 5.482
9 Ernst Gerspach 22 Switzerland SUI 5,947.780 5.188
10 Constant Bucher 20 Switzerland SUI 5,273.280 4.783
11 René Joannes-Powell 24 Belgium BEL 5,091.520 4.718
12 Gensabulo Noguchi 31 Japan JPN 3,668.630 3.775
AC Harry Goelitz 26 United States USA DNF
AC Einar Ræder 24 Norway NOR DNF
AC Aleksander Klumberg 21 Estonia EST DNF
AC Everett Ellis 23 United States USA DNF
AC Carlo Butti 28 Italy ITA DNF
AC Eero Lehtonen 22 Finland FIN DNF
AC Eduard Hašek 26 Czechoslovakia TCH DNF
AC Paavo Johansson 24 Finland FIN DNF
AC Apostolos Nikolaidis Greece GRE DNF
AC James Andromedas Greece GRE DNF
AC Hugo Lahtinen 28 Finland FIN DNF