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1964 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan - Men's Pole Vault

 

 

Host City: Tokyo, Japan Format: Top 12 and ties and all those clearing 4.60 metres advanced to the final.
Date Started: October 15, 1964  
Date Finished: October 17, 1964  
(Competitors: 30; Countries: 20; Finalists: 18)  
    Venue(s): National Stadium, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Overview by IAAF    1964_olympic_stadium.jpg
The development of the fibreglass pole revolutionised the event between 1960 and 1964 with 10 accepted (plus seven unratified) records, taking the world record from 4.81 to 5.28. The last of these was set by Fred Hansen in the USA versus USSR match of 1964, making him the gold medal favourite. Eighteen athletes cleared the 4.60 qualifying height, presaging a lengthy final. Thirteen men cleared the Olympic record height of 4.70, among them John Pennel, the first man to clear 17 feet (5.18). Pennel was suffering with an injured back and failed at 4.85, a height which defeated the number three American Billy Pemelton. Seven men were now left in. Pentti Nikūla, the first man to clear 5m, then missed at 4.95. Tomášek, the gymnastic Czech, and the big (1.90/90Kg) Ukrainian, Bliznetsov, were the next to depart – at 5.05. Earlier Hansen, and the German triumvirate – Reinhardt Lehnertz and the veteran Preussger, all cleared 5.00 first time. Hansen then gambled, passing 5.05, and when Reinhardt cleared first time, Hansen had to make 5.10 to win, as the other Germans failed 5.05. Hansen failed twice, and more than six hours after the competition started, he scraped over 5.10 for the gold.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
In May 1961, George Davies changed the pole vaulting world when he broke the world record with a fiberglass pole, clearing 4.83 (15-10) in the Big Eight Conference Championships. Between then and the 1964 Olympics, the world record was bettered 15 times. Improvement was so rapid that many marks never received IAAF approval, as they were quickly superseded by a better mark. The best jumpers in 1962-63 were John Pennel and Brian Sternberg. Sternberg broke the world record three times, the last on 7 June 1963. He was a superb athlete, also one of the best in the United States on the trampoline. On 28 June 1963 he was practicing on the trampoline doing a double-back with a full twist, a simple maneuver for him. But he landed badly, breaking his neck and was rendered a quadriplegic. He would never vault, or walk again, though he remained alive to 2008.
With Sternberg out, the favorites for Tokyo were Pennel and a vaulter who came on in 1964, Fred Hansen. Hansen set three world records in June-July 1964. He was AAU Champion in 1964 and won the Olympic Trials. Pennel injured his back shortly before the Olympics and would finish only 11th. In the final the competition came down to Hansen and three Germans, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Klaus Lehnertz (both FRG), and Manfred Preußger (GDR). All four cleared five metres on their first attempts. Hansen passed 5.05, while Reinhardt went over on his first try, with Lehnertz and Preußger failing at that height. Thus the gold medal was Reinhardt’s unless Hansen could outjump him at 5.10 (16-8¾). And he did, clearing 5.10 (16-8¾) on his third try while the German missed all three attempts.
 
 
        Results          
   
Pole Vault Men     Final 17 October        

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 1 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.

At this point in time, the United States had never lost and Olympic pole vault competition. In the final, the last remaining American was Fred Hansen, who at the time was also the world record holder. Hansen cleared 5 meters on his first attempt, but so did three German athletes, making it a four way tie. Hansen passed the next height, watching as only Wolfgang Reinhardt was able to clear. Re-entering the competition at 5.10, Hansen failed his first two attempts, but so did Reinhardt. Hansen then sailed over his final attempt, while Reinhart could not. Hansen continued the American streak, which would survive through one more Olympics until the 1972 pole vault controversy, when defending champion Bob Seagren had his pole confiscated at the games and had to compete on an unfamiliar, borrowed pole.

Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1 5.10     Fred Hansen United States USA 23 OR  
2 5.05     Wolfgang Reinhardt Germany GER 21 OR  
3 5.00     Klaus Lehnertz Germany GER 26 OR  
4 5.00     Manfred Preußger Germany GER 32 OR  
5 4.95     Hennadiy Bleznitsov Soviet Union URS 23 OR  
6 4.90     Rudolf Tomášek Czechoslovakia TCH 27 OR  
7 4.90     Pentti Nikula Finland FIN 25 OR  
8 4.80     Billy Gene Pemelton United States USA 23 OR  
9 4.80     Igor Feld Soviet Union URS 23 OR  
10 4.70     Gerry Moro Canada CAN 21 (=)OR  
11 4.70     John Pennel United States USA 24 (=)OR  
12 4.70     Risto Ankio Finland FIN 27 (=)OR  
13 4.70     Roman Lešek Yugoslavia YUG 27 (=)OR  
14 4.60     Taisto Laitinen Finland FIN 31    
15T 4.40     Ignacio Sola Spain ESP 20    
15T 4.40     Hervé d'Encausse France FRA 21    
15T 4.40     Sergey Dyomin Soviet Union URS 20    
18 4.40     Khristos Papanikolaou Greece GRE 22    
Pole Vault Men     Qualifying Round 15 October        
                   
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Age Records Notes
1T 4.60   Q Hennadiy Bleznitsov Soviet Union URS 23    
1T 4.60   Q Fred Hansen United States USA 23    
1T 4.60   Q Billy Gene Pemelton United States USA 23    
4T 4.60   Q Risto Ankio Finland FIN 27    
4T 4.60   Q Pentti Nikula Finland FIN 25    
4T 4.60   Q Wolfgang Reinhardt Germany GER 21    
4T 4.60   Q Rudolf Tomášek Czechoslovakia TCH 27    
4T 4.60   Q Igor Feld Soviet Union URS 23    
4T 4.60   Q Roman Lešek Yugoslavia YUG 27    
10T 4.60   Q Hervé d'Encausse France FRA 21    
10T 4.60   Q Yang C. K. Chinese Taipei TPE 31    
12 4.60   Q Sergey Dyomin Soviet Union URS 20    
13 4.60   Q Klaus Lehnertz Germany GER 26    
14 4.60   Q Manfred Preußger Germany GER 32    
15T 4.60   Q Gerry Moro Canada CAN 21    
15T 4.60   Q Khristos Papanikolaou Greece GRE 22    
17 4.60   Q John Pennel United States USA 24    
18 4.60   Q Taisto Laitinen Finland FIN 31    
19 4.60   Q Ignacio Sola Spain ESP 20    
20 4.50     Dave Stevenson Great Britain GBR 22    
21 4.50     Rolando Cruz Puerto Rico PUR 25    
22 4.40     Hisao Morita Japan JPN 25    
23 4.40     Werner Duttweiler Switzerland SUI 24    
24 4.40     Yoshimasa Torii Japan JPN 22    
25T 4.20     Renato Dionisi Italy ITA 16    
25T 4.20     Masashi Otsubo Japan JPN 26    
27 4.20     Paul Coppejans Belgium BEL 31    
AC NH     Dimitar Khlebarov Bulgaria BUL 30    
AC NH     Maurice Houvion France FRA 30    
AC NH     Włodzimierz Sokołowski Poland POL 24    

 Detailed View

 

Results

Qualification

Vaulters had to clear 4.60 metres to qualify for the final. The bar start at 4.20 metres, increasing gradually to 4.60 metres. Each jumper had three attempts at each height or could skip any lower height (but could not return to a lower height if he determined that he could not succeed).

Final
Place Athlete Nation Best mark   4.20 4.30 4.40 4.50 4.60
1 Risto Ankio Finland 4.60 metres     1st   1st
Gennadiy Bliznetsov Soviet Union 4.60 metres   1st
Sergey Demin Soviet Union 4.60 metres   2nd   1st
Herve D'Encausse France 4.60 metres 1st   1st   1st
Igor Feld Soviet Union 4.60 metres   1st   1st
Fred Morgan Hansen United States 4.60 metres   1st
Taisto Laitinen Finland 4.60 metres   1st   2nd
Klaus Lehnertz Germany 4.60 metres   1st   2nd 1st
Roman Lesek Yugoslavia 4.60 metres   1st   1st
Guerrino Moro Canada 4.60 metres 2nd   2nd   1st
Pentti Nikula Finland 4.60 metres   1st   1st
Christos Papanikolau Greece 4.60 metres   2nd   2nd 1st
Billy Gene Pemelton United States 4.60 metres   1st
John Pennel United States 4.60 metres   2nd
Manfred Preussger Germany 4.60 metres   3rd   1st
Wolfgang Reinhardt Germany 4.60 metres   1st   1st
Ignacio Sola Spain 4.60 metres 1st   1st 1st 3rd
Rudolf Tomasek Czechoslovakia 4.60 metres   1st 1st
Yang Chuan-kwang Taiwan 4.60 metres   1st 1st 1st
20 David Stevenson Great Britain 4.50 metres 1st   1st 1st Fail
21 Rolando Cruz Puerto Rico 4.50 metres   1st 3rd 1st Fail
22 Morita Hisao Japan 4.40 metres   1st   Fail
23 Werner Duttweiler Switzerland 4.40 metres 1st   1st   Fail
24 Torii Yoshimasa Japan 4.40 metres 1st   2nd   Fail
25 Renato Dionisi Italy 4.20 metres 1st Fail  
Otsubo Masashi Japan 4.20 metres 1st   Fail  
27 Paul Coppejans Belgium 4.20 metres 3rd   Fail
28 Dimitar Khlebarov Bulgaria No mark   Fail  
Maurice Houvion France No mark Fail  
Włodzimierz Sokołowski Poland No mark   Fail  
Valbjoern Thorlaksson Iceland Did not start  
Wu Ar Min Taiwan Did not start
Place Athlete Nation Best mark   4.40 4.60 4.70 4.80 4.85 4.90 4.95 5.00 5.05 5.10
1 Fred Morgan Hansen United States 5.10 metres OR     1st 1st 1st   1st   3rd
2 Wolfgang Reinhardt Germany 5.05 metres 2nd 2nd   2nd   2nd   1st 1st Fail
3 Klaus Lehnertz Germany 5.00 metres 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st Fail  
4 Manfred Preussger Germany 5.00 metres   3rd   1st   1st   1st Fail
5 Gennadiy Bliznetsov Soviet Union 4.95 metres 1st 1st 1st   1st   1st Fail  
6 Rudolf Tomasek Czechoslovakia 4.90 metres   1st 1st 2nd   1st   Fail
7 Pentti Nikula Finland 4.90 metres 2nd 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd 1st Fail  
8 Billy Gene Pemelton United States 4.80 metres   1st 1st Fail    
9 Igor Feld Soviet Union 4.80 metres   1st 3rd 2nd   Fail
10 Guerrino Moro Canada 4.70 metres   1st 2nd 1st Fail  
11 John Pennel United States 4.70 metres   2nd   Fail  
12 Risto Ankio Finland 4.70 metres   1st 2nd Fail  
13 Roman Lesek Yugoslavia 4.70 metres 1st 3rd 2nd Fail
14 Taisto Laitinen Finland 4.60 metres 1st 1st Fail  
15 Sergey Demin Soviet Union 4.40 metres 1st Fail  
Herve D'Encausse France 4.40 metres 1st Fail
Ignacio Sola Spain 4.40 metres 1st Fail
18 Christos Papanikolau Greece 4.40 metres 2nd Fail
19 Yang Chuan-kwang Taiwan No mark Fail  
 
 

 

 

 

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