The decathlon comprises ten track and field events that test the speed, strength and endurance of competitors. It has been a part of the Summer Olympic Games since 1904. The list below includes information on the last five men to win Olympic gold in the decathlon:
Bryan Clay: Clay had been one of the world's top decathletes for several years prior to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Clay's list of accomplishments included gold at the 2005 World Championships and silver at the 2004 Olympics. The American dominated the competition in Beijing on the way to gold. He got off to a fast start as the winner of the 100-meter dash and never looked back, winning by a wide margin with 8791 points.
Roman Sebrle: Sebrle, from the Czech Republic, won the decathlon in 2004 in Athens with an Olympic-record total of 8893 points. He used an outstanding throw in the shot put on the first day to secure a spot among the leaders, and a top javelin throw the next to put himself in the lead for good. Sebrle also won the decathlon silver in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games.
Erki Nool: A native of Estonia, Nool took the decathlon gold in 2000 in Sydney, but not without controversy. He appeared to foul on his three discus attempts, which would have ruined his medal chances. However, he successfully appealed the third foul, enabling him to get credit for points in the discipline. Nool later overtook American Chris Huffins in the final event-the 1500 meters-for victory.
Dan O'Brien: O'Brien was a great decathlete throughout the 1990s. He had shockingly failed to qualify for the Olympics in 1992, and was looking for redemption on home soil in 1996 in Atlanta. The winner of three consecutive World Championships between 1991-1995, O'Brien put together a superb two days in Atlanta, highlighted by the top 400-meter run, to win gold with 8824 points.
Robert Zmelik: Zmelik, from then Czechoslovakia, dominated the competition at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, winning by a sizable margin over the second-place finisher. Zmelik used his expertise in the long jump to build his lead by the end of the first day, and his speed and technique in the 110-meter hurdles to start the second one on the way to Olympic glory.
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