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Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games:

Men's Pole Vault

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 25, 1906
Date Finished: April 25, 1906
Format: Final only.

Gold: FRA Fernand Gonder
Silver: SWE Bruno Söderström
Bronze: USA Ed Glover

Summary

The favorite was France's Fernand Gonder, who had set several world records. The rest of the field was very representative, however, perhaps the top internationally flavored Olympic event to date. America's Ed Glover had won the 1905 AAU championship, while Sweden's Bruno Söderström was to win the 1907 AAA championship, which in 1908 would be taken by Canada's Ed Archibald.

Archibald was hampered in Athens, however, as his pole was lost on the train ride through Italy. When the Canadian athletes arrived in Naples, the train officials refused permission for Archibald to carry the pole in the passenger's coach, but agreed to secure it for him behind the engines. When the train reached Tarranto, however, the pole was nowhere to be found. A Greek official loaned him a pole, but it broke and almost impaled him, shattering his confidence. He had been vaulting nearly 12 feet (3.65) in practice with his own pole, but never came close to that height in Athens with the strange poles.

The opening height was 2.50 m. and as in the high jump, everybody was forced to jump at every height. Through 3.30 m., only four competitors remained- Bruno Söderström, Ed Glover, Theodoros Makris, and the world-record holder, Fernand Gonder. At 3.35 m., Glover and Makris went out. Söderström was perfect through this height, the only competitor without a miss to that point. Gonder and Söderström both made 3.40 m., but missed their two attempts at 3.50m. After Gonder missed his third effort, Söderström made his third attempt only to have his pole break in mid-flight. A jump-off was started at 3.50 m. and this time, Gonder managed to clear on his first attempt to win the competition.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal H
1 Fernand Gonder 22 France FRA Gold 3.500 =OR
2 Bruno Söderström 24 Sweden SWE Silver 3.400
3 Ed Glover 21 United States USA Bronze 3.350
4 Theodoros Makris Greece GRE 3.250
5T Heikki Åhlman 26 Finland FIN 3.000
5T Otto Haug 29 Norway NOR 3.000
5T Imre Kiss Hungary HUN 3.000
5T Georgios Banikas 17 Greece GRE 3.000
5T Stefanos Kountouriotis Greece GRE 3.000
10T Bert Kerrigan 27 United States USA 2.750
10T Ed Archibald 22 Canada CAN 2.750