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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Jenner true to his word in world record style
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

July 30, 1976

After finishing 10th in the decathlon at the 1972 Olympics, Bruce Jenner tells the winner, the Soviet Union's Nikolai Avilov, "Next time, I'm going to beat you."

Next time was this time, and the 26-year-old Jenner was true to his word. The man who wanted to be a movie or television star was the matinee idol in Montreal for winning the Olympic gold medal. In breaking his own world record by 80 points, Jenner registered 8,618 points in the grueling two-day, 10-event competition.

He starts the day 35 points behind West Germany's Guido Kratschmer (who will finish second) and 17 behind Avilov (third). But he is confident of victory as his strongest events come on the second day. He runs the 110-meter hurdles in 14.84 seconds; throws the discus 164 feet, 2 inches; leaps a personal best of 15 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault; throws the javelin 224 feet, 9+ inches; and runs the 1,500 meters in 4:12.61, another personal best.

When he crosses the finish line, a fan thrusts a small American flag into his hand. After waving it, Jenner throws the flag into the crowd, as if it were a miniature javelin.

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