“GREATEST WOMAN ATHLETE” NOT DECIDED IN TOKYO;
WOMEN’S DECATHLON CHAMPIOSHIPS SET FOR COL. OF SAN MATEO AUG. 21-22
NOTE: Although the women’s decathlon is an officially recognized World Athletics and USA Track & Field competition, women are not yet allowed to contend for the “world’s greatest woman athlete” title at the Olympic Games. They are currently restricted to the vintage 7-event heptathlon, which was contested in Tokyo two weeks ago.
College of San Mateo, which had student Pat Daniels (Connolly) pioneer women’s multi-event Olympic competition with the pentathlon at the 1964 Tokyo Games, is therefore hosting the only 2021 women’s decathlon championship meet this year. See link to New York Times Story at bottom –for background.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 19, 2021
From/contact: Fred Baer Women’s Decathlon LOC Chair [email protected] 650.483.3733
College Of San Mateo Still the Center of Women’s Multi-Event Competition
WOMEN’S DECATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO CSM AUG. 21-22; AR HOLDER / WORLD LEADER JORDAN GRAY HOPES TO BECOME FIRST AMERICAN TO SCORE 8,000+
The Women’s Decathlon National Championships are returning to College of San Mateo, this Saturday, August 21-22
Click here for a link to start lists, results, event info.
The 2021 Women’s Decathlon Association Championships, presented by Parity, is only the second standalone national meet for women to contest all 10 disciplines of the decathlon, such as the men concluded just two weeks earlier at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The event “routinely” determines a gender’s “greatest athlete.”
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top finishers this weekend. Jordan Gray set an American record of 7,921 points as CSM staged the first formal championship meet on June 22-23, 2019. She plans to defend her title and hopes to become the first American to better 8,000 points.
The Pandemic prevented most competition in 2020. Gray, however, did produce the season’s “world leading” performance of 7,627 points, finally getting into a special competition in Marble Falls, Texas, on Oct. 3-4. She broke her own “world decathlon long jump record, jumping 6.19 meters (20 feet, 3 3/4 inches).
Gray had set the former record of 6.18 while setting an American and North American area decathlon record in the 2019 competition at CSM. She ranks No. 3 all-time in the decathlon and hopes to challenge the world record of 8,358 points, set in 2005 by Austra Skujyte of Lithuania. Gray has already this year improved her individual long jump best significantly to 21 feet, 2 inches.
One international entrant confirmed, Uxia Pereira of Spain. Two early local (San Francisco) entrants are: AnnaLee MacGregor and Hanna McPhee.
Competition begins on Saturday, August 21, at 1 p.m., and at 11 a.m. on Sunday and should run approximately four hours each day.
CSM has long been a USA base for women’s combined events. In 1964 then CSM student Pat Daniels (Connolly) was the first to compete in an Olympic multi-event competition, the pentathlon – as women were finally allowed to contest five events (compared to the 10-event men’s decathlon). She finished seventh.
CURRENTLY WOMEN COMPETE IN ONLY 7-EVENT HEPTATHLON IN OLYMPICS:
Women now compete in the 7-event heptathlon at World and Olympic meets. The women’s decathlon is, however, formally recognized by World Athletics, which maintains lists of annual and all-time performances.
The decathlon adds two key field events for women, the pole vault and the discus throw to the existing menu of long jump, shot put, and javelin throw. The running event program changes from contesting the 200 and 800 meters to running the 100, 400, and 1,500 meters. The hurdles remain for both genders.
Pat Daniels Connolly still lives on the San Francisco Peninsula, in Half Moon Bay. The 3-time Olympian remains an avid supporter of the women’s decathlon. She was one of the youngest women ever to represent the USA in the Olympic Games, competing in the 800 meters in 1960 after her junior year at San Bruno’s Capuchino High School.
This championship meet in Silicon Valley is an open meet for interested qualified athletes. It is certified by USATF for record purposes. USATF Pacific Association officials will conduct the competition.
The Women’s Decathlon Association is staging the meet, in conjunction with partner Parity, a leader in the movement for parity in women’s sports.