Twelve athletes had been due to make it through to the final, but Lewis will be one of 14 to compete on Friday evening after finishing in joint-ninth place with six other athletes.Lewis, along with some of the event’s top names in recent years including medal hope Bjorn Otto from Germany and the reigning Olympic champion Steve Hooker, of Australia, all cleared 5.50m on their first attempts.The officials wanted to cut the field down to 12, but after a lengthy discussion the athletes persuaded them that the top 14 should all qualify without being forced to jump again.It meant Lewis, whose personal best of 5.82m was set in July, could prepare for the final after a relatively comfortable morning.Lewis endured a difficult Games in Beijing, when three failures at 5.45m meant he headed home without having recorded a mark, but he will have the ideal opportunity to make amends on Friday.
If people aren’t coming to watch your sport wherever it’s being played, maybe it’s time to bring it to the people.And that’s exactly what Mike Pascuzzo did 4 years ago when he started the Jersey Jumps Beach Vault competition at New Jersey’s famous Jersey Shore in Seaside Heights. “No one goes to track and field events unless they’re watching the Olympics or some type of elite qualifying event, or they’re there for a family member,” he said. “With me being a track guy, I was convinced that people enjoyed watching these types of events, but just didn’t seek them out all of the time. So I decided that we needed to bring it to a place where it can’t be ignored. And with pole vaulting being the most bombastic and high-flying track event, it attracts a crowd.”After a successful collegiate and US National Team track career, Pascuzzo began Vertical Adventures, which specializes in track athlete training and track camps throughout New Jersey and other cities across the country. He’s a high jumper by trade, but has brought pole vaulting to the Jersey Shore for the largest beach vaulting competition in the WORLD. And the best part? Aside from all of the spectacle of being on the beach and in Seaside Heights, it’s a USATF sanctioned event. Which means that some of the best pole vaulters in the world can come to the beach and have any record breaking or personal best jumps officially count more
LONDON — Steve Hooker of Australia is the defending Olympic pole vault champion, but he has had a problem with the yips that would bring sympathy from any golfer.The conditions were tricky, with swirling winds It was with relief as much as celebration that Hooker, 30, qualified for Friday’s final with a jump of 5.5 meters, or 18 feet ½ inch, during Wednesday’s preliminary round. Over the past year, a now-healed knee injury robbed him of his confidence, concentration and technique. At his worst moments, Hooker has been unable to leave the ground, much less clear the bar.Many of the greatest vaulters acknowledge that they experience moments of failed assurance, fear or even a kind of competitive paralysis. After all, theirs is a risky sport that requires the best of them to leap the equivalent of a two-story building and sometimes leaves them vulnerable to missing the foam pit upon landing.Even Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, who has jumped 20 feet 2 inches indoors and 20-1¾ outdoors, and who continues to hoard his world records into retirement, failed to clear any height at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, unwilling or unable to accommodate a limit of two minutes between jumps.Dan O’Brien did not clear a height in the pole vault during the decathlon competition at the 1992 United States Olympicbb Continue reading
It takes a special kind of person just to have the nerve to attempt pole vaulting.While it’s a spectacular sport, it has the potential for things to go horribly wrong and when they do, you can be 18 feet in the air.That’s a long way to fall.Sometimes, however, things can go wrong at a much lower level, but strangely the danger level when this happens is actually much greater.A pole snap is one of the great fears of pole vaulters. When they let go, shards of fibreglass or carbon fibre fly around and jagged pole ends are left exposed.Worse still, the snap invariably occurs when the pole is under the greatest load—when the athlete is inverted and heading upwards.The result is an upside down athlete no longer going upwards, but still traveling forward to land on their head and neck—hopefully on the landing bag.And hopefully not on bits of broken pole.Cuban vaulter, Lazaro Borges suffered this fate during a strange qualifying session at the London Games.Fortunately, Borges was unhurt, but he was unable to recover to qualify for Friday’s final.While Borges’ exploits were spectacular, the rest of the vaulters seemed to go on strike, refusing to jump to allow a bigger field through to the final.While it’s unclear what actually eventuated—there was much referring to clipboards and discussions with coaches.It is clear that no one actually achieved the automatic qualifying height and there will now be 14 men in the final instead of the 12 that were supposed to go through according to ABC Australia.Australia Steve Hooker, who was at the centre of the discussions is reported in the same article as saying . http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1289365-london-2012-pole-vaulter-lazaro-borges-suffers-spectacular-pole-snap-video
A CALCULATED gamble from defending champion Steve Hooker saw him win the right to defend his Beijing crown.Australian Hooker required just one jump – a soaring clearance at 5.50m – to get through to Friday’s final.
Hooker passed at two early heights in perfect morning conditions, then had no trouble flying over a height he had cleared just twice this year.
He then passed at 5.60m as the competitors were whittled down closer to the required 12 men for the final.
Then, amid confusion and several conferences with his fellow jumpers and officials, he again passed at 5.60m.
Eventually the officials allowed the 14 men still remaining to jump in the final.
“Me and Steve (Britain’s Steve Lewis) were sitting next to each other and the two Germans were on our pitt. We just had a chat and said, ‘Why waste our energy today, it’s all about Friday night.’ We’re all good mates out there and we all want to have as many guys in the final as possible, so it worked out well,” Hooker said after the event.”The officials were fantastic. They agreed with us and we got the right result with 14 guys in the final, which is great. Continue reading
A relaxed Steve Hooker had a lot of fun while expending as little energy as possible as he cruised into the Olympic pole vault final.The defending Olympic champion has endured a difficult 12 months as he battled a case of the yips, but he could hardly have looked happier than he did on Wednesday.The 30-year-old went over at the first attempt at 5.50m and that proved enough to get him into Friday’s final after the officials allowed 14 men to advance rather than the minimum of 12.”It just worked out that way that a large number of guys in our pit jumped 5.50 with no misses and so we decided if we grouped together we would all be going through to the final and we would save a bit of energy for Friday night,” said Hooker.”We are all good mates out there and we want to see the maximum guys going through and that’s the way it worked out.”You don’t have to lobby the officials – you just have to be a union almost amongst ourselves.”Pole vaulters are always about seeing the best results and the best results for their competitors.”The officials have to tell us not to help each other out there.”It’s a fantastic atmosphere and I think it is something that epitomises the Olympic spirit.”After bombing out at last year’s world championships, Hooker qualified for the London Olympics with a clearance of 5.72m at his indoor training venue in Perth in May.He then had a string of disappointing performances in Europe before being boosted when he again cleared 5.72m at his last pre-Games meet in Poland in late July.”I’m not in the position I was four years ago,” said Hooker.”But I’ve got good momentum and I know I’ve got more in me than my season’s best.”That’s a good position to be in.”Among the big names to be eliminated in the qualifying round were 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Denys Yurchenko from Ukraine and American Derek Miles. more
LONDON — Allegheny College graduate Jeremy Scott just missed qualifying for the Olympic pole vault finals this morning at Olympic Stadium.Scott cleared 18 feet 1/2 inch, a height at which six other vaulters qualified for Friday’s final. However, he required two attempts to clear the height, one more than the other qualifiers, and missed all three of his attempts at 5.6 meters — just under 18 feet 4 inches. He finished 15th overall and ninth in Group A. The top 14 qualifiers advanced.The top qualifiers were Raphael Holzdeppe, of Germany, and Renaud Lavillenie, of France, at 18 feet 5 inches each. U.S. trials champion Brad Walker qualified fourth at just under 18 feet 4 inches.Scott, 31, is a 2003 Allegheny graduate. He is a Nebraska native who now lives in Arkansas.
Pole vaulter Lazaro Borges escaped uninjured this morning despite seeing his pole snap beneath him.Attempting to vault a height of 5.35 metres, the Cuban made his approach as normal and planted his pole. Yet the fibreglass apparatus could not withstand the pressure and snapped into three pieces.To audible gasps in the Olympic Stadium, Borges was sent flying backwards through the air. Fortunately, the 26-year-old was unharmed, although he did appear somewhat bemused
Qualified for Next Round
1. Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany) 5.65 metres
1. Renaud Lavillenie (France) 5.65
3. Konstadinos Filippidis (Greece) 5.60
4. Evgeniy Lukyanenko (Russia) 5.60
4. Brad Walker (U.S.) 5.60
6. Romain Mesnil (France) 5.60
7. Dmitry Starodubtsev (Russia) 5.60
8. Lukasz Michalski (Poland) 5.60
9. Igor Bychkov (Spain) 5.50
9. Steven Hooker (Australia) 5.50
9. Jan Kudlicka (Czech Republic) 5.50
9. Steven Lewis (Britain) 5.50
9. Malte Mohr (Germany) 5.50
9. Bjoern Otto (Germany) 5.50
For one brief track and field season, I held the pole vault record at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel, New Jersey: 8 feet, 6 inches. Before you laugh though, I should tell you what the circumstances were and note that this was around 1972 when clearing 10 feet was considered pretty good at that level. (And no, high jumpers have not broken 8 feet yet, in case you were wondering.)To begin with, SJV was a new school and I was in the second graduating class, so we were literally building our sports programs from the ground up. During football practice, players had to form a line across the field and pick up rocks from one end to the other, which we deposited in our helmets. Yet in our first year of varsity football — no senior class — we had a winning record. Perhaps, we took extra pride in our team because we got our hands dirty and felt personally connected to that uneven rock-strewn field. It was our home turf.
I ran track in spring mainly to stay in shape for football, but quickly found that at 5’5″, my little legs couldn’t keep up with bigger, faster competitors in the 100 and 220 yard sprints. However, I wanted to compete in something I might have a chance at winning. No one else was willing to try the pole vault — and for good reasons: We didn’t have a landing pit; none of the coaches knew anything about pole vaulting; and you have to be slightly crazy to run full speed, plant a long pole in a metal box, then fling yourself into the air with the hope that you will not stall midway and fall backwards onto the runway, which was often concrete or part of an adjoining parking lot. None of that deterred me. I saw opportunity where others saw potential disaster or humiliation. MORE http://careerchangers.staradvertiserblogs.com/2012/08/07/going-for-the-gold/
VERMILLION | South Dakota pole vaulter Derek Miles begins competition at the Olympics on Wednesday.The University of South Dakota assistant track and field coach will be competing in the preliminaries in London. If he qualifies for the finals he will compete again on Friday.The 39-year-old Miles is competing at the Olympics for a third time. He finished seventh in Athens, Greece, in 2004, and fourth in Beijing, China, in 2008
Nominee: Rick Suhr Home country: United States of America Known for: Pole vault coaching, tough loving.
Why he might be a jerk: Suhr, the husband and coach of gold medalist Jenn Suhr, lives up to every negative stereotype you’ve ever heard about pole vault coaches. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after Jenn Suhr (then known as Jenn Stuczynski) took the silver medal in the women’s pole vault, NBC cameras captured Rick—then her coach but not yet her husband—apparently criticizing her for her second-place finish. “You weren’t on, your warm-up didn’t go well. You were at 55. You got caught up in that meat grinder. Whaddaya gonna do? (shrugs, looks away) Whaddaya gonna do? (shrugs, looks away).” To add insult to insult, he was texting somebody the whole time. More recently, Jenn Suhr expressed shock that, prior to Monday’s pole vault finals, Rick had told her he thought she was going to win the event: “I’ve competed 100 times and that’s not something he says.”Suhr has always been an intense guy, it seems. Two YouTube videos of Suhr in his high school wrestling days show him pinning opponent after opponent in montages set to Linkin Park’s “Numb” and Drowning Pool’s “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”—both exceedingly jerky songs. “Rick Suhr teaches more than the pole vault,” said one of the pole vault coach’s defenders. “He teaches toughness.” But isn’t that the exact sort of thing people say about jerks to explain away their jerkiness?
Why he might not be a jerk: Continue reading
Jeff Hartwig, who set two North American pole vaulting records in 1998, was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 and 2008.
The pole vault is, at heart, simple physics. The athlete moving fastest down the runway has the greatest potential to go vertical using an enormous lever. That said, running quickly is but one part of being a great pole vaulter. Success in this most entertaining of events requires the speed of a sprinter, the strength of a weightlifter, the coordination of a gymnast and the courage of a daredevil. I became enamored with pole vaulting in junior high when I saw older kids doing it in the gym. They weren’t jumping that high – roughly the height of the basketball hoop – but it didn’t matter. I was hooked. The discipline and technical proficiency, not to mention the daring, intrigued me. My first jumps were around 7 feet, and by the end of my freshman year I’d cleared 9 feet, 6 inches. Riding the pole into the air, releasing it and falling to the mat was like flying. I’m often asked, “Isn’t it scary launching yourself nearly 20 feet into the air on a bending fiberglass pole?” It would be if you started at that height, but you don’t. Vaulters always start small, and our technical progression is slow.Vaulting is much harder than it looks, with “>several components that must be mastered if you’re to make it over the bar in anything approaching a graceful manner.
The first, obviously, is the approach. Continue reading
British Olympian Holly Bleasdale may have missed out on a gold medal but she is celebrating after landing a diamond engagement ring on one of the biggest nights of her career.The Chorley-based athlete suffered a frustrating night, finishing sixth in the final of the pole vault at the London 2012 games on Monday.But after the event, the former Runshaw College pupil’s heartbreak turned to delight when her boyfriend of two years, Paul Bradshaw, got down on one knee with a diamond solitaire ring and proposed.Holly’s mum Debbie, who watched in the stands at the Olympic Stadium, said: “We knew they were getting engaged because Paul had asked us first.“We left the stadium because Holly told us that she was hungry and as we walked through the Olympic village he took her aside under the Olympic Rings and proposed there which was romantic. more: http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/star-s-boyfriend-proposes-after-final-1-4812091