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Athletics at the 1900 Paris Summer Games:

Men's Pole Vault

Athletics at the 1900 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Catalan Cross, Boulogne Forest, Paris
Date Started: July 15, 1900
Date Finished: July 15, 1900
Format: Final only.

Gold: USA Irv Baxter
Silver: USA Meredith Colket
Bronze: NOR Carl Albert Andersen

Summary

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.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal H
1 Irv Baxter 24 United States USA Gold 3.30 OR
2 Meredith Colket 21 United States USA Silver 3.25
3 Carl Albert Andersen 23 Norway NOR Bronze 3.20
4T Eric Lemming 20 Sweden SWE 3.10
4T Jakab Kauser 22 Hungary HUN 3.10
4T Émile Gontier France FRA 3.10
7 Karl Gustaf Staaf 19 Sweden SWE 2.80
8 August Nilsson 27 Sweden SWE 2.60