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Mathias Repeats in Olympic Decathlon July 26, 1952

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After winning the Gold in the decathlon for the U.S., at the 1948 London Olympics, Bob Mathias delivered a repeat performance at the Helsinki games. Although he finished 8th in the 1,500 meters on July 26, 1952; the last of the grueling, 2 day, 10 event competition; Mathias had built enough of a lead in the prior events to to break the world decathlon record along the way to winning a second gold medal.

The first day of the competition was on July 25. Mathias took an early lead, winning the 100 meters with a time of 10.9 seconds. In the long jump he leaped 22′ 10.80″, which was only good enough for 6th place, but then he won the shot put with a toss of 50′ 2.37″. He took third place in the high jump, with leap of 6′ 2.81″. In the last event of the first day, Mathias ran the 400 meters in 50.2 seconds, and blew the field away. After five events he had 4,367 points, and a comfortable lead over his closest competitors, Milton Campbell and Floyd Simmons; both Americans.

Mathias began day two of the decathlon, running the 110 meter hurdles in 10.91 seconds, and took second place. He won the discuss with a throw of 46.89 feet. He cleared 13′ 1.47″ in the pole vault, for third place, and he threw the javelin 194′ 3.15″, winning the event.

Mathias scored a total of 7,887 points in Helsinki, beating his own world record of 7,825 which he set at the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles.


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