Isaksson at the 1972 Olympics
|Born||28 February 1948 (age 70)|
Härnösand, Västernorrland, Sweden
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lb)|
|Club|| Sundbybergs IK|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||5.59 m (1972)|
Kjell Gunnar Isaksson (born 28 February 1948) is a retired pole vaulter from Sweden, who broke the world record several times in 1972. First he broke the record set by Christos Papanikolaou of Greece and San Jose State University two years earlier, by jumping 5.51 metres in Austin, Texas, becoming the second man to clear 18 feet. A week later he improved it to 5.54 m in Los Angeles, California.His technique inspired several aspects of the Petrov/Bubka model. Two months later he added another centimeter at a meet in Helsingborg, Sweden. His record reign was ended on 2 July 1972 when the reigning Olympic champion Bob Seagren jumped 5.63 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Isaksson set his personal best at 5.59 m in El Paso, Texas, on 23 May 1972.
Pole vaulting is a track and field event in which a person uses a long flexible pole as an aid to jump over a bar. Pole jumping competitions were known to the ancient Greeks, Cretans and Celts. It has been a full medal event at the Olympic Games since 1896 for men and since 2000 for women.
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond.
Isaksson competed at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Olympics with the best result of tenth place in 1968.In 1972 he was handicapped by a sudden change of rules by the IAAF and could not clear any height. He appeared on the cover of Track and Field News several times starting in April 1971, then March, April and June 1972 (with Seagren). Nationally he won the pole vault title in 1968–71 and 1973–79 and was active in bowling in the 2000s.
Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball toward pins or another target.
Isaksson achieved international fame in the late 1970s as one of the most successful Superstars competitors, winning two European titles and finishing second in the inaugural 1977 World Championship. he dominated the European competition in 1975 and 1976, defeating the British Superstar David Hemery twice, and scoring 56 points (out of a maximum 80) in the 1975 final. Isaksson was particularly strong in the running events (where he would only be allowed to compete after giving away "handicaps" to his rivals) and the gymnasium. He would gain extra points in weightlifting contests by lifting higher weights in proportion to his body weight than his heavier opponents. This gave him a major chance in the 1977 World Championship, though he was hindered by the IAAF disqualifying him from professional athletics competition (and thus the running events). This was to give his American rival Bob Seagren a major advantage. Now retired from athletics, Seagren was free to compete in the running events and scored enough points here to beat Isaksson into second place. Until Brian Hooper won the last World Final in 1982, Isaksson was the most successful European Superstar ever.
Superstars is an all-around sports competition that pits elite athletes from different sports against one another in a series of athletic events resembling a decathlon. Points are awarded for the position in which the competitor places in each event. The competitor with the most points at the end of all ten events is declared the champion.
David Peter Hemery, CBE is a British former track and field athlete, winner of the 400 metres hurdles at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
Robert Seagren is a retired American pole vaulter, the 1968 Olympic champion.
Sergey Nazarovich Bubka is a Ukrainian former pole vaulter. He represented the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. Bubka was twice named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News, and in 2012 was one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame.
Jean Galfione is a retired, French pole vaulter. During his pole vaulting career, he won at least one medal in each of the following major international competitions - the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the World Indoor Championships, the European Championships and the European Indoors Championships
Christos Papanikolaou is a retired Greek pole vaulter. On 25 October 1970, he set the world record at 5.49 m, significant to Americans as the first man to pole vault 18 feet. He competed at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics and finished in 18th, 4th and 11th place, respectively. He won a silver medal at the 1966 European Championships. He was a two-time champion at the Mediterranean Games.
Patrick Abada is a retired French pole vaulter and Olympian, having competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics. His best vault was one of 5.70 m, made on 26 August 1983, in Brussels. As of August 2001, that mark was the 126th best pole vault of all time. He represented France in pole vaulting 25 times between 1973 and 1985.
Kory Merrill Tarpenning is a retired American pole vaulter best known for finishing fourth at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, having previously competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Wolfgang Nordwig is a former East German pole vaulter. He competed in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics and won a bronze and a gold medal, respectively, clearing 5.50 m in 1972.
Frederick Morgan "Fred" Hansen is an American former athlete who competed mainly in the pole vault.
Steven "Steve" Leslie Hooker OAM is an Australian former pole vaulter and Olympic gold medalist. His personal best, achieved in 2008, is 6.06 m making him the third-highest pole vaulter in history, behind Sergey Bubka and Renaud Lavillenie.
Renaud Lavillenie is a French pole vaulter. He is the current indoor world record holder, with a height of 6.16 m set indoors on 15 February 2014.
Paweł Wojciechowski is a Polish pole vaulter. He won the gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics.
Geoffrey Peter "Geoff" Vanderstock is an American track and field athlete primarily known for running hurdles. He was once the World Record holder in the 400 metres hurdles. His 48.94 was set at the high altitude United States Olympic Trials at Echo Summit, California on September 11, 1968. He was the first man to run the event under 49 seconds. The hand time took .3 off the previous record held by Rex Cawley. A month later at the 1968 Summer Olympics, he finished 4th in a tight race between 2nd place and 4th place, and given a time of 49.06, while watching David Hemery demolish his world record running 48.12. on YouTube
The men's pole vault field event at the 1972 Olympic Games took place on September 1 & 2. Controversy arose when the new Cata-Pole, used by defending champion Bob Seagren and Sweden's Kjell Isaksson, was declared to be illegal, by the IAAF, on 25 July. The pole was banned based on the fact that the pole contained carbon fibers; after an East German-led protest revealed that it contained no carbon fibers, the ban was lifted on 27 August. Three days later the IAAF reversed itself again, reinstating the ban. The poles were then confiscated from the athletes. Seagren and Isaksson believed this gave other athletes, like the eventual gold medalist, Wolfgang Nordwig, an unfair advantage, since he did not use or train on the pole. Seagren and Isaksson were given substitute poles which they had never used before to jump with. Isaksson, who had lost the world record to Seagren only 2 months earlier, didn't clear a height in the qualifying round and was eliminated. After Seagren’s last vault he was so incensed by the way IAAF officials handled the event, he took the pole he had been forced to vault with and handed it back to IAAF President Adriaan Paulen.
Stephen Norwood "Steve" Smith is a retired American Olympic pole vaulter. He was the first person to clear the 18 foot barrier indoors. He was the number one ranked pole vaulter in the world in 1973.
The International Track Association (ITA) was a professional track and field organization that existed in the United States from 1972 to 1976.
The pole vault at the Summer Olympics is grouped among the four track and field jumping events held at the multi-sport event. The men's pole vault has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since the first Summer Olympics in 1896. The women's event is one of the latest additions to the programme, first being contested at the 2000 Summer Olympics – along with the addition of the hammer throw, this brought the women's field event programme to parity with the men's.
Viktor Ryzhenkov is an Uzbekistani former track and field athlete who competed for the Soviet Union in pole vault. His career briefly flourished around 1990 and 1991.
Casey O. Carrigan is an American track and field athlete. He was the American high school record holder in the pole vault while at Orting High School. He qualified for the 1968 United States Olympic Trials. In 1968 there was a semi-Olympic trials required to make the final. In that meet, Carrigan finished in a non-qualifying seventh place, only jumping 4.87 m. But seventh place was enough to get into the finals. In the finals, he jumped 5.18 m on his first attempt, putting him into solid second place behind John Pennel, ahead of Bob Seagren and Dick Railsback both of whom cleared it on their second attempt. Seagren continued on to jump a new World Record of 5.41 m, but all the others were unable to make the next height. Carrigan had qualified for the Olympics in the pole vault while still in high school. At the Olympics, Carrigan was only able to clear 4.60, finishing twelfth in his qualifying group and not advancing. After clearing his opening height he passed to 4.90, the height required to advance. After missing his first two attempts, he cleared the third attempt by a foot and a half, what he considered the best vault of his life, but the officials ruled his pole broke the plane of the bar, a violation at the time.
|Preceded by|| Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder |
8 April 1972 – 2 July 1972
| Succeeded by|
|Preceded by|| Men's Pole Vault Best Year Performance |
| Succeeded by|