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Athletics at the 1960 Roma Summer Games:

Men's Pole Vault

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Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Roma
Date Started: September 5, 1960
Date Finished: September 7, 1960

Gold: USA Don Bragg
Silver: USA Ron Morris
Bronze: FIN Eeles Landström

Summary

Don Bragg was the favorite. He had been world-ranked in the top three since 1955, was ranked #1 in 1959, and broke the world record at the US Olympic Trials in July 1960. The competition seemed endless, taking over six hours. Four vaulters survived 4.55 (14-11) – Bragg, American Ron Morris, 1954/58 European Champion Eeles Landström, and surprising Puerto Rican Rolando Cruz, who had been 1959 Pan-American Games bronze medalist behind champion Bragg. Only Bragg and Morris cleared 4.60 (15-1), and Bragg led with a first-attempt clearance, Morris missing once. Both tried 4.70 (15-5), with Bragg going over on his first try. Morris missed three times and the gold and silver medals were decided. Landström won the bronze as he had cleared 4.55 (14-11) on his first attempt, Cruz on his second. Bragg’s dream was to play Tarzan in the movies. After his vaulting victories he usually punctuated them with a Tarzan yell. Bragg never quite achieved his dream, though he came close. He was chosen for one role and the shooting had begun on Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar but the filming was stopped because of legal problems. Bragg never appeared in the movies in any role. One highly considered vaulter who did not get to compete was the Soviet Vladimir Bulatov, ranked 5th in the world in 1959 and 6th in 1958, but he had to withdraw after breaking his ankle on his first warm-up vault in qualifying.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Don Bragg 25 United States USA Gold OR
2 Ron Morris 25 United States USA Silver OR
3 Eeles Landström 28 Finland FIN Bronze
4 Rolando Cruz 20 Puerto Rico PUR
5 Günter Malcher 26 Germany GER
6T Matti Sutinen 30 Finland FIN
6T Ihor Petrenko 22 Soviet Union URS
8 Rudolf Tomášek 23 Czechoslovakia TCH
9 Leon Lukman 28 Yugoslavia YUG
10 Khristo Khristov 25 Bulgaria BUL
11 Dimitar Khlebarov 25 Bulgaria BUL
12 Andrzej Krzesiński 32 Poland POL
13 Jānis Krasovskis 24 Soviet Union URS
14T QR Peter Laufer 23 Germany GER
14T QR Manfred Preußger 28 Germany GER
14T QR Valbjörn Þorláksson 26 Iceland ISL
14T QR Roman Lešek 23 Yugoslavia YUG
18T QR Victor Sillon 32 France FRA
18T QR Georgios Roubanis 31 Greece GRE
18T QR Janusz Gronowski 25 Poland POL
18T QR Dave Clark 24 United States USA
22 QR Noriaki Yasuda 24 Japan JPN
23T QR Raymond Van Dijck 25 Belgium BEL
23T QR Bjørn Andersen 29 Denmark DEN
23T QR Gérard Barras 23 Switzerland SUI
26 QR Allah Ditta 27 Pakistan PAK
AC QR Mohamed Abdullah Iraq IRQ
AC QR Owen Okundaye 24 Nigeria NGR
AC QR Orhan Altan 26 Turkey TUR