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Athletics at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Decathlon

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki
Date Started: July 25, 1952
Date Finished: July 26, 1952
Format: Scoring by 1950 point tables.

Gold: USA Bob Mathias
Silver: USA Milt Campbell
Bronze: USA Floyd Simmons

Summary

Though Bob Mathias had been the upset winner in 1948, by 1952 he was dominant in the decathlon and a heavy favorite. He was now undefeated in nine career decathlons, and had set world records in 1950 and at the 1952 AAU/Olympic Trials. The US team also included the 1948 bronze medalist, Floyd “Chunk” Simmons, and an 18-year-old high schooler, Milt Campbell, who finished second at the Olympic Trials in his first career decathlon. The Americans swept the medals, with Campbell second and Simmons repeating his bronze medal effort. But the 1952 Olympic decathlon was simply a coronation for Mathias, who became the first man to defend the decathlon gold medal. In the process he broke his own world record, and defeated Campbell by over 900 points. He effectively retired after Helsinki, although he returned in 1956 to win a military decathlon, ending his career undefeated in 11 competitions. Mathias was also a star football player at Stanford, competing in the Rose Bowl. He later had a brief Hollywood career and then served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal P(1952T) P(1985AT) P(1985HT)
1 Bob Mathias 21 United States USA Gold 7,887 7.580 7.589 WR
2 Milt Campbell 18 United States USA Silver 6,975 6.948 6.986
3 Floyd Simmons 29 United States USA Bronze 6,788 6.903 6.948
4 Vladimir Volkov 31 Soviet Union URS 6,674 6.868 6.902
5 Sepp Hipp 25 Germany GER 6,449 6.705 6.743
6 Göran Widenfelt 23 Sweden SWE 6,388 6.661 6.679
7 Kjell Tånnander 25 Sweden SWE 6,308 6.607 6.616
8 Friedel Schirmer 26 Germany GER 6,118 6.464 6.513
9 Geoff Elliott 21 Great Britain GBR 6,044 6.353 6.392
10 Sergey Kuznetsov 34 Soviet Union URS 5,937 6.349 6.362
11 Hugues Frayer 29 France FRA 5,772 6.168 6.208
12 Brígido Iriarte 31 Venezuela VEN 5,770 6.250 6.284
13 Olli Reikko 25 Finland FIN 5,725 6.170 6.198
14 Eeles Landström 20 Finland FIN 5,694 6.123 6.147
15 Oto Rebula 30 Yugoslavia YUG 5,648 6.135 6.178
16 Fernando Fernandes 32 Portugal POR 5,604 6.088 6.132
17 Hernán Figueroa 24 Chile CHI 5,592 6.087 6.126
18 Max Wehrli 22 Switzerland SUI 5,561 6.053 6.075
19 Bob Adams 27 Canada CAN 5,530 6.035 6.049
20 Héctor Román 19 Puerto Rico PUR 5,264 5.834 5.884
21 Reinaldo Oliver 20 Puerto Rico PUR 5,228 5.817 5.859
AC Erkki Hautamäki 21 Finland FIN DNF
AC Ignace Heinrich 26 France FRA DNF
AC Carlos Vera 23 Chile CHI DNF
AC Georges Breitman 32 France FRA DNF
AC Fotios Kosmas 25 Greece GRE DNF
AC Pyotr Kozhevnikov Soviet Union URS DNF
AC Pat Leane 22 Australia AUS DNF