Interesting facts about pole vaulting

Posted on May 12, 2021      35

The first images of people jumping with a pole date back to the IV-III centuries BC. And at that time it was not a competition, but quite a practical activity. For example, shepherds overcame various obstacles - bushes, streams, pits - with the help of a long stick. And later it also became a way of demonstrating dexterity.

In 1793 a German educator, Johannes Guts-Muts published a book “Gymnastics for young men” in which he recommended that young people include jumping with a staff in their exercises. His students overcame considerably, for those times, height - up to 270 centimeters.

An unusual way to overcome the bar showed at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, the Japanese athlete Sawao Funi, who had the vaguest idea of the technique of jumping. He ran across the ground, stuck the pole on the bar, deftly climbed on it and jumped over the bar. The referees, naturally, did not appreciate this original jump and did not count his attempt. The athlete accused the judges of bias and angrily left the stadium. And in Japan, there were even protests.

Pole vaulting - one of those sports disciplines in which the results depend not only on the physical readiness of the athlete but also on the developments of scientists. At the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, athletes used heavy wooden poles. And the results stopped at the level of 3.5 m.

In 1906 staves made of bamboo - stronger and lighter material - came into practice. For 40 years the bar of the world record rose to 4 meters 77 centimeters. In the 40s and 60s they used duralumin poles. The experiment was a failure - in 15 years the world record “grew” by only 3 centimeters.

In the second half of the twentieth century the development of poles for jumpers are engaged in serious scientists: bamboo and dural come to be replaced by shells made of synthetic materials. They became very light and flexible, so the results exploded.

Naturally, transporting poles gives athletes a lot of trouble, because it is not a T-shirt and sneakers, which can easily be thrown into a bag. A few years ago, famous Australian jumper Paul Burgess was taking his equipment down the escalator at Sydney Airport. Suddenly, the pole jammed, and it punched a hole in the ceiling covering. The escalator stopped, and it took rescuers a quarter of an hour to retrieve the pole. The pole was not cheap - about $800.

Teg:   pole  athlete