#100Momentsin100Days Daley Decathlon Gold in LA



Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. There were quite a few interesting characters in various events but none more so than Daley Thompson.

His straight talking meant he wasn't always popular with the press but he still had the hearts of the British public. Randomly, I had a picture of him snorkeling on my bedroom wall! 2 years earlier Thompson famously swore when collecting his Sports Personality of the Year award which caused great upset... to no one except the papers. He was different to the usual bland athletes we were used to...

So Daley rocked up in LA to defend the Decathlon title he'd won in Moscow, succeeding a certain Bruce Jenner as gold medallist. But that's a whole different story...

This time Thompson was facing up to great rival and man mountain Jürgen Hingsen of West Germany. Hingsen had broken the World Record just a few weeks earlier, achieving 8832 points.

Now lets be honest here, the rest of the competitors might as well not have bothered. It was all about Thompson and Hingsen. The great moustache-off began with the 100m. Thompson won his heat and had the fastest time overall with a pb of 10.44 seconds, scoring 944 points and a lead of 122 over Hingsen.

In the 29°C heat and smog of LA the next event was the Long Jump. Thompson stuck in an 8.01m with his 3rd and final jump with Hingsen managing only 7.80m. The lead stood at 164 points going into the last event of the morning... The Shot Putt. Throwing stuff was Hingsen's forte and was where he expected to regain ground. But hang on a minute, 15.87m? Way below par and a PB of 15.72m for Daley!

In the afternoon the High Jump again favoured Hingsen and his 6'7" frame. He cleared 2m 12cm and Thompson could only reach a decent 2m 03cm. So thats 77 points clawed back for JH. Thompson - 3683pts Hingsen - 5328pts Thompson even looks like he's smiling when he's upside down!

In the last event of day 1 DT was in lane 6, JH in lane 8 for the 400m. Despite the stagger Thompson passed Hingsen after about 250m and won the heat comfortably in 46.97 seconds. Hingsen's time of 47.69 meant he would trail by 114 points overnight. Things are looking good huh Daley?

Next morning and event 6 is the 110m hurdles. Another of Hingsen's good ones and he wins it in 14.29 seconds but Thompson is just 0.05 seconds behind. Ooh, tense! Daley's lead now 106 points.

Hingsen was fully expected to make a play for the overall lead next with the Discus, not an event Thompson was terribly fond of. After their first two throws Hingsen had achieved a PB of 50.82m with Thompson a miserable 9m less. Hingsen's last throw was no improvement so a huge amount of pressure was on Thompson's final throw. NAILED IT! Pulls out a 46.56m PB and retains a lead of 34 points!