| Event type

Decathlon, Men

Date5 – 6 September 1960
LocationStadio Olimpico, Roma
Participants30 from 20 countries
FormatScoring by 1950/1952 point tables.

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.

PosNrAthleteNOCPointsPoints (1985 Auto Tables)100 metresLong JumpShot PutHigh Jump400 metres110 metres HurdlesDiscus ThrowPole VaultJavelin Throw1,500 metres
1447Rafer JohnsonUSA8392792610.97.3515.821.8548.315.348.494.1069.764:49.7GoldOR
233Yang C. K.TPE8334783910.77.4613.331.9048.114.639.834.3068.224:48.5SilverOR
3593Vasily KuznetsovURS7809755711.16.9614.461.7550.215.050.523.9071.204:53.8Bronze
4594Yury KutenkoURS7567744211.46.9313.971.8051.115.645.634.2071.444:44.2
5188Eef KamerbeekNED7236723711.37.2113.761.8051.114.944.313.8057.494:43.6
6621Franco SarITA7195717411.46.6913.891.8051.314.749.583.8055.744:49.2
7513Markus KahmaFIN7112718111.56.9314.551.7550.515.944.933.6060.504:22.8
8313Klaus GrogorenzGER7032711410.86.9312.421.7348.016.940.123.7060.814:27.0
9325Jože BrodnikYUG6918704211.66.9112.301.8051.015.737.664.1065.304:37.7
10312Manfred BockGER6894703711.46.7912.031.8550.516.137.693.9063.634:27.6
11232Fritz VogelsangSUI6767691211.36.9411.781.7050.015.337.034.0052.614:27.7
12514Seppo SuutariFIN6751691411.16.9414.961.8351.815.637.943.5059.865:04.8
13620Luciano PaccagnellaITA6279658311.86.7314.181.8054.315.745.673.6048.604:55.4
14389Björgvin HólmISL6261663911.86.9313.581.7551.816.239.503.3057.454:40.6
15191Herman TimmeNED6206653011.36.9313.191.8351.215.739.083.3051.745:21.4
16314Walter MeierGER6000614911.313.681.8349.516.039.183.7047.334:30.6
1796Hans MuchitschAUT5950634111.57.1411.071.8051.315.831.793.2038.444:23.3
18244Leo MariënBEL5919633511.56.6211.441.7550.515.534.283.3044.714:40.0
19394Juris LaipenieksCHI5865634911.66.8812.651.6553.217.140.493.3061.444:57.5
20365Héctor ThomasVEN5753622711.16.8113.421.7554.116.940.773.2051.155:25.2
21259Rodolfo MijaresMEX5413596711.36.2010.591.6550.517.337.553.4043.364:49.3
22142George StulacCAN5198581412.05.9212.741.7053.018.437.353.6050.404:59.6
23343Panagiotis EpitropopoulosGRE4737540911.76.2312.061.7353.618.134.6850.664:55.0
AC595Iuri Diachk'oviURS11.67.1213.221.8550.715.337.873.80DNF
AC448Phil MulkeyUSA11.56.8714.101.8352.218.134.12DNF
AC176Gurbachan Singh RandhawaIND11.66.8711.351.9052.016.4DNF
AC324Mirko KolnikYUG11.26.9313.101.7053.9DNF
AC373Alois BüchelLIE11.56.549.791.73DNF
AC107Júlio Vilar SantosPOR12.06.3210.851.65DNF
AC446Dave EdstromUSA11.46.3913.59DNF
DNS387Fumio NishiuchiJPN