Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Roma
Date Started: September 5, 1960
Date Finished: September 6, 1960
Format: Scoring by 1950/1952 point tables.
|Silver:||Yang C. K.|
By 1960, Rafer Johnson, who had won silver in 1956, had established himself as the top decathlete in the world, having broken the world record in 1958 in the USA-USSR meet and at the 1960 AAU/Olympic Trials. His main competition was expected to come from his college roommate (at UCLA) and closest friend, Yang Chuan-Kwang of Taiwan, known to all as C. K. Yang. Yang had finished second to Johnson at the 1958 and 1960 AAU, and had won that event in 1959, in Johnson’s absence. Also competing was the 1954 bronze medalist, Vasily Kuznetsov, who had won the 1954 and 1958 European Championship, but was not considered at the same level as Johnson and Yang.
Yang won the first two events, the 100 and long jump, but Johnson moved ahead after the shot put. Johnson led at the end of the first day by 55 points. But Yang moved ahead in the 110 hurdles, only to see Johnson take back the lead for good in the seventh event, the discus throw. After nine events, Johnson led by 67 points, and Yang was a better 1,500 runner so the gold medal was still in doubt. Yang could win by defeating Johnson by about nine seconds in the 1,500. In the Roma darkness, Johnson ran the 1,500 by sticking right on Yang’s back and refusing to let him pull away, finishing only 1.2 seconds behind him and winning the gold medal. Kuznetsov repeated as bronze medalist, over 500 points behind Yang. Yang had bettered Johnson in seven of the ten events, but Johnson’s superiority in the throwing events – he won the shot, discus, and javelin – brought him the gold medal. This is often considered the greatest decathlon in Olympic history.
|1||Rafer Johnson||25||United States||USA||Gold||8,392||7.901||7.926||OR|
|2||Yang C. K.||27||Chinese Taipei||TPE||Silver||8,334||7.820||7.839||OR|
|3||Vasily Kuznetsov||28||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze||7,809||7.527||7.557|
|4||Yuriy Kutenko||28||Soviet Union||URS||7,567||7.401||7.442|
|AC||Iuri Diachk'ovi||20||Soviet Union||URS||DNF|
|AC||Phil Mulkey||25||United States||USA||DNF|
|AC||Gurbachan Singh Randhawa||21||India||IND||DNF|
|AC||Dave Edstrom||21||United States||USA||DNF|