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Athletics at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Pole Vault

Athletics at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul
Date Started: September 26, 1988
Date Finished: September 28, 1988

Gold: URS Sergey Bubka
Silver: URS Rodion Gataullin
Bronze: URS Grigory Yegorov


By 1988, [Sergey Bubka] was the greatest vaulter in the world, and possibly the best of all-time, rivaled only by Cornelius )Dutch) Warmerdam, who never got to compete at the Olympics. Bubka had won the 1983 and 1987 World Championships, the 1986 European Championships, had set nine world records (outdoors), and was the only vaulter to clear 6 metres, a mark he had bettered numerous times, and no one else had. The qualifying round was unusual. Fifteen of the 21 vaulters cleared 5.40 (17-8½). There were then objections by vaulters in Group A that the bar in Group B was being raised at different increments. So the 15 vaulters over 5.40 (17-8½) were advanced, leaving aside the qualifying height of 5.55 (18-2½). In the final, Bubka opened at 5.70 (18-8¼), clearing on his second attempt. He then passed the next four heights. Two other Soviets were still in the competition. [Grigory Yegorov] had cleared 5.80 (19-0¼), while [Rodion Gataullin] made 5.85 (19-2¼) on his third attempt. Bubkas cleared 5.90 (19-4¼) on his third attempt to win the gold medal, Yegorov failing at that height. Gataullin passed to 5.95 (19-6¼) but could not clear, winning the silver medal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundQualifying Round

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Sergey Bubka 24 Soviet Union URS Gold OR
2 Rodion Gataullin 22 Soviet Union URS Silver OR
3 Grigory Yegorov 21 Soviet Union URS Bronze OR
4 Earl Bell 33 United States USA
5T Philippe Collet 24 France FRA
5T Thierry Vigneron 28 France FRA
7 István Bagyula 19 Hungary HUN
8 Philippe d'Encausse 21 France FRA
9 Asko Peltoniemi 25 Finland FIN
10 Kory Tarpenning 26 United States USA
11 Zdeněk Lubenský 25 Czechoslovakia TCH
12 Billy Olson 30 United States USA
13 Hermann Fehringer 25 Austria AUT
AC r2/2 Mirosław Chmara 24 Poland POL
AC r2/2 Marian Kolasa 29 Poland POL
16 QR Kim Cheol-Gyun 19 South Korea KOR
17 QR Paul Just 24 Canada CAN
AC QR Atanas Tarev 30 Bulgaria BUL
AC QR Javier García 22 Spain ESP
AC QR Andy Ashurst 23 Great Britain GBR
AC QR Lee Jae-Bok 27 South Korea KOR