Kurt Bendlin started to train athletics with 16 years. He has thrown the Javelin already to 54 meters at this age, and jumped 6,02m in Long Jump and 1,60m in High Jump.
His first Decathlon at the seniors he did in 1962 and scored 6550 points. In 1965 Bert Sumser took the talented Bendlin to Leverkusen, where he started to train very hard. He won his first national title in the same year, but after this season he needed a suergery on his knees and missed nearly the whole next season. But with massive weighttraining he made himself fit for the next season and scored a new World Record in Decathlon in 1967 with 8319 points. Before this William Toomy scored a WR with 8234p in 1966.
The American Decathlete William Toomey said after the world record of Bendlin: "I know that guy Bendlin, we worked out together in Cologne last fall ... his girl was killed in an auto accident. After that you could see how intense he was. I was afraid he would something like this." And the other US-Decathlete Russell Hodge said: " That score isn´t so high. It will go to 8500 or 8700 maybe by Bill or Bendlin or me. Maybe in Mexico." (quote from US-Athletes: Olympic Glory Denied from Frank Zarnowski)
But Bendlins Record "survived" the Olympic Games and in 1969 William Toomey, the Olympic Champion from Mexico, made ten approaches to break the world record. And finally in December he broke it with 8417 points. Just one week after his Decathlon World Record Bendlin threw his PR in the Javelin (79,36m) at the open national championships. Before the Olympic Games 1968 he injured again and he had just half a year to prepare for it.
His next chance for an international title were the European Championships 1971 in Helsinki, where he showed a good competition, but he dropped out injured again after the javelin. In the next year he prepared for the next Olympic Games in München. But in June he ripped off an achilles tendon at a javelin competition. Two years later he made a comeback and won the national title. So he was qualified for the European Championships in Roma. But he injured a muscle serious before, and couldn´t start there. In 1976 he surprised with his last comeback and scored 7841 at the German Championships which was the sixth place. In 1986 Bendlin published a book called: "Fitness for Managers" that also includes some stories from his time as an Decathlete.
Story by Robert Katzenbeisser