Athletics at the 1952 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

Last updated
Men's pole vault
at the Games of the XV Olympiad
Don Laz and Bob Richards 1951.jpg
Don Laz and Bob Richards (1951)
Venue Helsinki Olympic Stadium
DatesJuly 21 (qualifying)
July 22 (final)
Competitors28 from 18 nations
Winning height4.55 OR
Medalists
Gold medal icon.svg Bob Richards
US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
Silver medal icon.svg Don Laz
US flag 48 stars.svg  United States
Bronze medal icon.svg Ragnar Lundberg
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
  1948
1956  
Video on YouTube amateur film TV-icon-2.svg
Video on YouTube amateur film

The men's pole vault was an event at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Twenty-eight athletes from 18 nations competed. [1] The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The final was held on Tuesday July 22, 1952. [2] The event was won by Bob Richards of the United States, the nation's 12th consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. Another American, Don Laz, took silver. Ragnar Lundberg's bronze was Sweden's first medal in the event since 1912.

Contents

Summary

Bob Richards was the returning bronze medalist. His closest domestic competitor was Don Laz, who shared the US championship earlier in the year after 4 years of Richards dominance. In the final both remained clean to 4.40m, just ahead of Ragnar Lundberg and Petro Denysenko, who each had one miss earlier. Lundberg had passed at 4.10m, which became significant because neither could go any higher. While modern rules would make that a tie, in that era, the third tiebreaker was the number of attempts, which gave Lundberg the bronze medal. Both Richards and Laz cleared the next height, 4.50m on their second attempts, still tied. They remained tied to their final attempt at 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in) when Laz missed and Richards cleared it to take his first gold medal.

Richards was only the second man to win multiple medals in the pole vault. He would go on to defend the championship four years later, jumping 1 cm higher and went on to Wheaties box fame. No other man has defended the pole vault title, though Yelena Isinbayeva defended the women's title in 2008. Richards is also the only man to win three medals in the event (Isinbayeva is the only woman to do so).

Background

This was the 12th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Half of the finalists from the 1948 Games returned: silver medalist Erkki Kataja of Finland, bronze medalist Bob Richards of the United States, fourth-place finisher Erling Kaas of Norway, fifth-place finisher Ragnar Lundberg of Sweden, seventh-place finisher Valto Olenius of Finland, and ninth-place finisher José Vicente of Puerto Rico. Richards was the favorite in Helsinki after four wins at the AAU championships from 1949 to 1952 (the last tied with Don Laz). The most significant challenger to the Americans was European champion Ragnar Lundberg of Sweden. [1]

Egypt, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Switzerland each made their first appearance in the event. The United States made its 12th appearance, the only nation to have competed at every Olympic men's pole vault to that point.

Competition format

The competition used the two-round format introduced in 1912, with results cleared between rounds. Vaulters received three attempts at each height. Ties were broken by the countback rule; at the time, total attempts was used after total misses.

In the qualifying round, the bar was set at 3.60 metres, 3.80 metres, 3.90 metres, and 4.00 metres. All vaulters clearing 4.00 metres advanced to the final.

In the final, the bar was set at 3.60 metres, 3.80 metres, 3.95 metres, 4.10 metres, 4.20 metres, 4.30 metres, 4.40 metres, 4.50 metres, 4.55 metres, and 4.60 metres. [1] [3]

Records

Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows.

World recordFlag of the United States.svg  Cornelius Warmerdam  (USA)4.77 Modesto, United States 23 May 1942
Olympic recordUS flag 48 stars.svg  Earle Meadows  (USA)4.35 Berlin, Germany 5 August 1936

Bob Richards, Don Laz, Ragnar Lundberg, and Petro Denysenko all cleared 4.40 metres to break the Olympic record. Richards and Laz extended the record to 4.50 metres. Only Richards was able to clear 4.55 metres, the new Olympic record at the end of the Games.

Schedule

All times are Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)

The final took nearly 6 hours.

DateTimeRound
Monday, 21 July 195215:00Qualifying
Tuesday, 22 July 195215:00Final

Results

Key

Qualifying round

Qualification Criteria: Qualifying Performance 4.00 m advance to the Final.

RankGroupAthleteNation3.603.803.904.00HeightNotes
1A Petro Denysenko Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union oo4.00Q
A Tamás Homonnay Flag of Hungary (1949-1956).svg  Hungary oo4.00Q
B Erkki Kataja Flag of Finland.svg  Finland oo4.00Q
B Ragnar Lundberg Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden oo4.00Q
B Jukka Piironen Flag of Finland.svg  Finland oo4.00Q
6A Zeno Dragomir Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg  Romania ooo4.00Q
B Don Laz US flag 48 stars.svg  United States ooo4.00Q
B Lennart Lind Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden ooo4.00Q
B George Mattos US flag 48 stars.svg  United States ooo4.00Q
B Bob Richards US flag 48 stars.svg  United States ooo4.00Q
11A Rigas Efstathiadis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece ???o4.00Q, one miss before 4.00
11B Erling Kaas Flag of Norway.svg  Norway ???o4.00Q, one miss before 4.00
13B Valto Olenius Flag of Finland.svg  Finland xo4.00Q
14B Viktor Knyazev Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union oxo4.00Q
15A Volodymyr Brazhnyk Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union ooxo4.00Q
16A Theodosios Balafas Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece oooxo4.00Q
A Torfy Bryngeirsson Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland oooxo4.00Q
18B Bunkichi Sawada Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan ??xo4.00Q, one miss before 4.00
19B Milan Milakov Flag of SFR Yugoslavia.svg  Yugoslavia ooxxo4.00Q
20A Walter Hofstetter Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland ??oxxx3.90One miss before 3.90
21B Ron Miller Canadian Red Ensign (1921-1957).svg  Canada oxoxxx3.90
22A Tim Anderson Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain ooxxxN/A3.80
A Geoff Elliott Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain ooxxxN/A3.80
B Zenon Ważny Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland ooxxxN/A3.80
25A Hélcio da Silva Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil oxxxN/A3.60
26A Gamal El-Din El-Sherbini Flag of Egypt (1922-1958).svg  Egypt xxoxxxN/A3.60
B Georgios Roubanis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece xxxN/ANo mark
B José Vicente Puerto rico national sport flag.svg  Puerto Rico xxxN/ANo mark

Final

The final was held on July 20.

RankAthleteNation3.603.803.954.104.204.304.404.504.554.60HeightNotes
Gold medal icon.svg Bob Richards US flag 48 stars.svg  United States oooooxoxxoxxx4.55 OR
Silver medal icon.svg Don Laz US flag 48 stars.svg  United States oooooxoxxxN/A4.50
Bronze medal icon.svg Ragnar Lundberg Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden ooxooxxxN/A4.40
4 Petro Denysenko Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union ooxoooxxxN/A4.40
5 Valto Olenius Flag of Finland.svg  Finland oxoxoxxxN/A4.30
6 Bunkichi Sawada Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan oxxoooxxxN/A4.20
7 Volodymyr Brazhnyk Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union oooxoxxxN/A4.20
8 Viktor Knyazev Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union ooxoxoxxxN/A4.20
9 George Mattos US flag 48 stars.svg  United States oxoxxoxxxN/A4.20
10 Erkki Kataja Flag of Finland.svg  Finland ooxxxN/A4.10
11 Tamás Homonnay Flag of Hungary (1949-1956).svg  Hungary oooxxxN/A4.10
Lennart Lind Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden oOoxxxN/A4.10
13 Milan Milakov Flag of SFR Yugoslavia.svg  Yugoslavia oxoxoxxxN/A4.10
14 Rigas Efstathiadis Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece ooxxxN/A3.95
Torfy Bryngeirsson Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland ooxxxN/A3.95
16 Erling Kaas Flag of Norway.svg  Norway oxxxN/A3.80
17 Theodosios Balafas Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg  Greece ooxxxN/A3.80
18 Jukka Piironen Flag of Finland.svg  Finland xoxxxN/A3.80
Zeno Dragomir Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg  Romania xoxxxN/A3.80

Related Research Articles

Yelena Isinbayeva Russian female Olympic pole-vaulter

Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva is a Russian former pole vaulter. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a three-time World Champion, the current world record holder in the event, and is widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time. Isinbayeva was banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics after the appearance of an independent report about an extensive state-sponsored doping program in Russia, thus dashing her hopes of a grand retirement winning the Olympic gold medal. She retired from athletics in August 2016 after being elected to serve an 8-year term on the IOC's Athletes' Commission.

Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault was one of four men's jumping events on the Athletics at the 1964 Summer Olympics program in Tokyo. Qualification was held on 15 October 1964, with the final on 17 October. 32 athletes from 20 nations entered, with 2 not starting in the qualification round. The final lasted over seven hours, to date the longest competition in history. All finalists qualified at 4.60, however in the final five were unable to achieve the height again.

Athletics at the 1988 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea had an entry list of 21 competitors from 13 nations, with two qualifying groups before the final (15) took place on Wednesday September 28, 1988. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress.

Athletics at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault was an event at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Nineteen athletes from 12 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The final was held on the third day of the track and field competition, on Monday November 26, 1956. The event was won by Bob Richards of the United States, the nation's 13th consecutive victory in the event. Richards was the first man to successfully defend Olympic gold in the pole vault; he was also the first man to win three total medals in the event. For the second straight Games, the American team went 1–2, this time with Bob Gutowski taking silver. Georgios Roubanis's bronze was Greece's first pole vault medal since 1896.

Athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault was an event at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Thirty-seven athletes from 24 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Jean Galfione of France, the nation's second victory in the event. Igor Trandenkov took silver, the first medal for Russia in the pole vault. Similarly, Andrei Tivontchik's bronze was the first for Germany, though both East Germany and West Germany as well as the Unified Team of Germany had previously won medals.

Athletics at the 1992 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The Men's Pole Vault was an event at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. There were a total number of 34 participating athletes from 23 nations. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The qualification mark was set at 5.60 metres.

Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California had an entry list of 19 competitors from 13 nations, with two qualifying groups before the final (12) took place on Wednesday August 8, 1984. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Pierre Quinon of France, the nation's first medal in the men's pole vault. France also took one of the two bronze medals after Thierry Vigneron tied with Earl Bell of the United States for third. Mike Tully, also American, earned silver. Bell and Tully continued the American streak of podium appearances in the event every time the United States competed.

Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union had an entry list of 19 competitors from 10 nations. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The final was held on Wednesday July 30, 1980. The top twelve and ties and all those clearing 5.40 metres advanced to the final. The event was won by Władysław Kozakiewicz of Poland, the nation's second consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. His countryman Tadeusz Ślusarski, who had won the event four years earlier, became the fifth man to earn two medals in the event when he finished in a tie for silver. The other silver went to Konstantin Volkov and was the Soviet Union's first pole vault medal.

Athletics at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault event at the 2000 Summer Olympics as part of the athletics program was held at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, 27 September and Friday, 29 September. Thirty-six athletes from 22 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Nick Hysong of the United States, the nation's first victory in the event since its 16-Games streak ended. The American team also took silver, as Lawrence Johnson finished second. Maksim Tarasov became the seventh man to win multiple pole vault medals, and the second to do so under two different flags, adding a bronze to his 1992 gold.

Athletics at the 1936 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on August 5, 1936. Thirty athletes from 21 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The final was won by Earle Meadows of the United States. It was the nation's tenth consecutive victory in the men's pole vault.

Athletics at the 1948 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Nineteen athletes from 10 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The competition was held on July 31 and August 2. During the final, a rainstorm came in during the jumps at 4.10. All the jumpers at 4.20 and higher had to deal with wet conditions on the runway and with their poles. The final was won by American Guinn Smith. Erkki Kataja had held the lead with a perfect set of jumps until Smith's last attempt clearance of 4.30. Smith's win was the United States' 11th consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. Kataja's silver was Finland's first medal in the event.

Athletics at the 1960 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault field event at the 1960 Olympic Games took place on September 5 and September 7. Twenty-nine athletes from 20 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Don Bragg of the United States, the nation's 14th consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. Ron Morris took silver, making it three straight Games the American team had finished 1–2. Eeles Landström's bronze was Finland's first medal in the event since 1948.

Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault was a competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on 8–10 August. Thirty-two athletes from 23 nations competed. The event was won by Renaud Lavillenie of France, the nation's first victory in the event since 1996 and third overall. Björn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany took silver and bronze, respectively; like France, it was the first time since 1996 that Germany reached the men's pole vault podium.

George Mattos was an American pole vaulter. He competed for his native country in two Olympics, 1952 when he finished 9th and 1956 when he finished 4th, both times behind American teammate Bob Richards.

2011 World Championships in Athletics – Womens pole vault

The Women's Pole vault event at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics took place at the Daegu Stadium on August 28 and 30.

Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault field event at the 1972 Olympic Games took place on September 1 & 2. Twenty-one athletes from 12 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Wolfgang Nordwig of East Germany, the first non-American to win the event. Nordwig and silver medalist Bob Seagren were the third and fourth men to win multiple medals in the event.

Athletics at the 1976 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault competition featured as part of the athletics programme at the 1976 Summer Olympics and was held at the Olympic Stadium in Montréal on 24 and 26 July. Twenty-seven athletes from 13 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress.

Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Mens pole vault

The men's pole vault was one of four men's jumping events on the athletics program at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The competition had two rounds, qualifying and a final, which were held on 14 and 16 October respectively at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City. Twenty-three athletes from 15 nations competed. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The event was won by Bob Seagren of the United States, the nation's 16th consecutive victory in the men's pole vault. Claus Schiprowski of West Germany took silver, while Wolfgang Nordwig of East Germany took bronze—the first medals for each of those nations as separate teams, though two West German vaulters had earned silver and bronze for the United Team of Germany in 1964.

The men's pole vault competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium between 13–15 August. Thirty-one athletes from 16 nations competed. Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil won the gold medal, the nation's first medal in the men's pole vault. Renaud Lavillenie of France was unable to successfully defend his 2012 gold, but became the seventh man to win two medals with silver this time. Sam Kendricks's bronze returned the United States to the podium after a one-Games absence.

The women's pole vault competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium between 16–19 August.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Pole Vault, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  2. "Athletics at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  3. Official Report, p. 311.