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1972 Decathlon


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  • 1972 Decathlon

    I am trying to find some information on a decathlon that took place in California in May 1972. The details I have are from Athletics Weekly, AW 26.22.2 (10.5 7.38 13.31 1.85 46.4 15.2 47.10 4.61 57.48 4:45.1) scores 8040 which was a world's best (for the year) up to that point in 1972.

    A couple of weeks later, in AW 26.24.35, it says, "...Peter Gabbett's 8040 decathlon and Barry King's 7676 must be ruled as practice marks. The meet was held at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria on May 21/22nd; the athletes measured the jumps and throws and timed the races; there were no certified AAU officials present; there were no sectors marked in the discus; and on Gabbett's 46.4 400, he reportedly had about a four-yard head start before the starter fired the gun..."

    Okay, so it seems it was a practice meet. But I would like to know who the "reportedly" refers to? It obviously wasn't Peter Gabbett who said he had a four yard start because thirty years later he was still telling anyone who would listen that he was the first UK decathlete to score over eight thousand points.

    In an earlier edition of AW 26.9.31 there was a two-line piece that said Peter would spend 10 weeks in the US training with Bill Toomey and hoped to take in the AAU decathlon, but I can find no mention of him in AW's report of the event.

    So, are there reports in any of the American magazines (T&FN for example) of the time giving any further details?

    I would also appreciate any information you might have on any other marks by either Peter Gabbett or Barry King that summer while they were in the states. I have unconfirmed reports of a 10.3 100m, 21.5 200m and 47.5 440yd all by Gabbet but no dates or venues.

    (Aw 26.22.34 means Athletics Weekly, Volume 26, part 22 page 34)

    Many thanks in advance,

    the baton is meant to be passed on