Last Updated on March 28, 2010 by Jimson Lee
Watching the Men’s Pole vault with an injured Steve Hooker inspired me to write this article.
In the past article on Technological Innovations in Track and Field, I forgot to mention the Pole vault standards that support the bar were changed from 76mm to 55mm.
We are talking about the days of super dominant Sergey Bubka from 1984 to 1994. And with today’s world leader Steve Hooker’s 6.06m on the smaller pins, World Record attempts are even harder.
I am not here to bash Sergey, but he did “slice the bologna thin” by attempting WR in 1 cm increments once he broke 6 meters.. You can’t do that for the 100 meters.
When you pole vault over the bar, often your chest or torso will brush the bar. As it wobbles, some jumpers can manipulate the bar on the pins so it stays put.
Usually technical changes are in favour of improving performance (cinder vs synthetic tracks, for example) but in this case it’s like the shortened javelin… you will be chasing a “ghost” world record.
So if you are really picky, you would include both Bubka and Hooker’s World Leader listed, with one having an asterisk.
Here is a cut and paste from the wiki site. Note it does not include his 6.15m indoors set in 1993. Also note his citizenship changed prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Niels Alofsen says
are you serious? Bubka hasn’t touched the bar at his world records, so he didn’t benefited of the bigger bar-supports.
Jimson Lee says
@Niels – true, he never did touch the bar, but several others had in their own PBs.
How long do you think someone will break 6.15m?
Niels Alofsen says
I think Hooker will have a good chance in next 3 years. At least he has a highly qualified coach in Parnov.
Not the Lavillenie. His technique sucks and will jump 6+ maybe a couple times. Not more….
If Hooker will not do it, then it might take more than 5 years…a new talent with the right coach…
Bubka purposely broke his world record at small increments due to the fact he was paid a bonus by the Soviet Track federation every time he set a new world mark.
So I’m puzzled: if you improve the sling effect of the pole, as you said in the link, that’s fair for the new records to come. Now if you change the support of the bar you have to change the records despite the guy who hold the record didn’t benefit from that support.
Also, in some of his jumps, Bubka clears the bar with biiiig gap. E. g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUPBl4xToUM , where the jump seems to clear not only 6.13 but at least 6.20.