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DAN O'BRIEN PURSUES FOURTH WORLD RECORD AT VISA PENTATHLON

 DALLAS, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Decathlon world record holder Dan O'Brien could become the first person to own all four major multi-event track and field world records simultaneously if he conquers the Visa Gold Medal Athlete Pentathlon on Monday, April 5, in Dallas.
 O'Brien, who will compete with 11 others at the five-event outdoor competition at Southern Methodist University, already holds world records in the decathlon, indoor heptathlon, and indoor pentathlon. The Visa Pentathlon, which is sanctioned by USA Track & Field, includes the long jump, javelin, 200 meters, discus and 1,500 meters.
 The Visa Gold Medal Athlete Pentathlon culminates a two-day Visa Gold Medal Athlete Decathlon Program, which on Sunday features an appearance by Tom Tellez, noted track & field coach from the University of Houston. Tellez, personal coach for eight-time Olympic Gold medalist Carl Lewis, will discuss sprinting and jumping, two things that must be in top form for O'Brien if he is to set a new world mark in the outdoor pentathlon. O'Brien is chasing Bill Toomey's 1969 score of 4,282 points.
 "This event will serve as a barometer for the entire USA/Visa Decathlon Team's progress since Visa launched the Gold Medal Athlete Program for decathletes in 1990," said John Bennett, senior vice president for Visa U.S.A. "It's heartening to see the heightened awareness and improved scores in these events since Visa formed and became the sponsor of the U.S. Decathlon Team."
 Joining the team in Dallas will be the five living American decathlon gold medalists -- Bob Mathias (1948, 1952), Milt Campbell (1956), Rafer Johnson (1960), Bill Toomey (1968), and Bruce Jenner (1976) -- to share training tips and provide motivational support.
 Leading the program in Dallas will be Fred Samara, U.S. national coach for multi-events and Harry Marra, coach of the U.S.A./Visa Decathlon Team. They will be aided by several additional prominent decathlon coaches and clinicians.
 A worldwide Olympic sponsor since 1986, Visa became the sole sponsor of the first-ever U.S. Decathlon Team in 1990. Visa started the Gold Medal Athlete Program in 1990 for the U.S.A./Visa Decathlon Team and the U.S. Ski Team. The program assembles the country's top coaches, physiologists, sports scientists, and past U.S. Olympic gold medalists to provide personalized training and motivational support for our U.S. Olympic hopefuls.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment system in the world with more than 10 million acceptance locations, the leading global ATM network, and 304 million cards issued worldwide, including 149 million in the United States.
 -0- 4/2/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Hennig of Visa, 415-358-2435


CO: Visa ST: California, Texas IN: SU:

TM -- SF001 -- 2454 04/02/93 11:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 2, 1993
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