From TFN Forums by nmzoo.
The following was gleaned from the results of decathlon competitions at the major meets since 2000 (WC’s/Oly’s- 8 all together):
Over this period of time, the gold medalists (GM) averaged 8771 pts with the highest being 8902 by Dvorak in 2001, the silver medalists (SM) averaged 8653 pts and the bronze medalists (BM) averaged 8546 pts.
The event in which the medalists scored the most points- the long jump. On average the GM scored 998 pts (7.75m/25’5″). There were 8 jumpers over 1000 pts with the most by one athlete being 1079 pts (8.27m/27’0.5″). The 3 medalists averaged 966 pts (7.59m/25’0″) during this time. The only other events in which there was even 1 athlete with 1000 pts were the 110H (1000pts- 13.60) and the PV (1035pts- 5.40m/17’8″). The GM won the LJ half the time and was never worse than 4th..
The lowest (not surprisingly) was the 1500m where the GM during this time averaged 16th place while the SM averaged 10th place and the BM averaged 13th place in this event. 5 times the 1500 did not change the order, and only once did it move an athlete into the medals (5th to 3rd).
Excluding the 1500m, the lowest scoring event was, again not surprisingly, the shot put where the GM averaged 850 pts (15.98m/52’5″). All medalists averaged 826 pts (15.59m/ 51’2″).
In the sprints (100m, 110H, 400m) the GM averaged 936 pts, all medalists averaged 920 pts. In the jumps (LJ, HJ, TJ) the GM averaged 916 pts, all medalists averaged 905 pts. In the throws the GM averaged 856 pts, all medalists averaged 823 pts. This would indicate that it was in the throws that the GM put the most distance between himself and the other medalists.
The most intriguing fact was that no decathlon was won by any one who was not in the top 3 after 3 events (100m, LJ, SP), with the exception of 2007 when the leader DNF’d.. It was possible to move into the medals when they were lower than 3rd after the first 3 events but not the GM position. This held true even for other “major” competitions during that period of time (such as NCAA’s, Olympic trials and USATF Championships). It may be possible to win if you are not in the top 3 after 3 events, but that is not the way to bet!