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1900 Olympic Games Paris, France - Men's Pole Vault



Host City: Paris, France Format: Final only.
Date Started: July 15, 1900
Date Finished: July 15, 1900
(Competitors: 8; Countries: 5)
Venue(s): Catalan Cross, Boulogne Forest, Paris
Overview by IAAF  velodrome_de_vincennes.png
The event was held on a Sunday afternoon, and the result was contested by the Americans. The organisers had stated four days earlier that religious Americans would have a chance of jumping on the Monday in an attempt to better the Sunday marks, but changed this ruling on the Saturday apparently without notifying the Americans. Colket and Baxter, who had just won the high jump, took part and duly took the top two places. Javelin star Eric Lemming shared fourth place. The next day, Bascom Johnson (USA) won a special event with 3.38, but the US again protested when this was given no recognition. Dan Horton then won a third event with 3.45 from fellow American Charles Dvorak (3.35), but to no avail as officials decided to keep the Baxter competition as the only legitimate event.
Summary by
The event was usually called the pole jump in 1900, though the program listed it, of course, as "le championnat de saut à la perche." All the arguments about Sunday competition reached the height of absurdity with this event.
The event was scheduled to start at 4:30 PM (1630) on Sunday afternoon, with no qualifying held on Saturday. The Americans claimed that the French told them that any field event final which was contested on Sunday would not be considered finished until the Americans had a chance on the next day to better the marks posted. This was apparently ruled at a meeting on Wednesday, 11 July. But on Saturday night, the French ruled that the results of all Sunday events would be final, with no recourse to any athletes who did not compete due to Sabbatarian objections. Apparently the Americans were not told of this decision.
The top American vaulters were Charles Dvorak, Dan Horton, and Bascom Johnson. They were not at the field on Sunday when the pole vault started. Fortunately for the American team, Irv Baxter, who had just won the high jump (which started at 3:45 PM 1545), and Meredith Colket, were present and were able to compete in the vault. They took the first two places without much difficulty.
On Monday, Bascom Johnson, in a special event organized by the French authorities to assuage the angry American authorities, cleared 3.38 metres. But it had no bearing on the Olympic championship. On Thursday, 19 July, the pole vault handicap was held and was won by Jakab Kauser of Hungary. But the Americans were still protesting the Sunday competition, so again a special pole vault competition, at scratch, was organized. In this event, Dan Horton cleared 3.45 metres, and Charles Dvorak was second with 3.35. It mattered little as the French never changed their ruling and the listing below is the accepted one. The 1900 Olympic pole vault champion remained Irving Baxter.
Irving Baxter equalized the Olympic record with 3.30 metres.
Pole Vault Men Final 15 July
Baxter, despite being a high jumper who had little experience in pole vaulting and having just finished the high jump competition, was the top vaulter. Along with the other medallists, he cleared 3.10 metres first, then 3.20 metres. Andersen could not clear 3.25 while both the Americans did. That was the highest vault that Colket could accomplish, however, and Baxter's 3.30 was enough to win.
Rank Mark Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 3.30 Irv Baxter United States USA 24 OR
2 3.25 Meredith Colket United States USA 21
3 3.20 Carl Albert Andersen Norway NOR 23
4T 3.10 Eric Lemming Sweden SWE 20
4T 3.10 Jakab Kauser Hungary HUN 22
4T 3.10 Émile Gontier France FRA 22
7 2.80 Karl Gustaf Staaf Sweden SWE 19
8 2.60 August Nilsson Sweden SWE 27




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