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Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault


Athletics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

Men's pole vault
at the Games of the XIX Olympiad

Eventual bronze medallist Wolfgang Nordwig led the qualifying round alongside John Pennel.
Venue Estadio Olímpico Universitario
Dates 14 and 16 October
Gold medal    United States
Silver medal    West Germany
Bronze medal    East Germany
Video on YouTube @ 10:20 Official Video
Athletics at the
1968 Summer Olympics
Track events
100 m   men   women
200 m men women
400 m men women
800 m men women
1500 m men
5000 m men
10,000 m men
80 m hurdles women
110 m hurdles men
400 m hurdles men
3000 m
4×100 m relay men women
4×400 m relay men
Road events
Marathon men
20 km walk men
50 km walk men
Field events
Long jump men women
Triple jump men
High jump men women
Pole vault men
Shot put men women
Discus throw men women
Javelin throw men women
Hammer throw men
Combined events
Pentathlon women
Decathlon men

The men's pole vault was one of four men's jumping events on the athletics program at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The competition had two rounds, qualifying and a final, which were held on 14 and 16 October respectively at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City.

Bob Seagren, who had set a world record of 5.41 m (17 ft 834 in) a month earlier, won the gold medal for the United States. The medallists, Seagren, Claus Schiprowski, and Wolfgang Nordwig, all finished the competition with the same height (5.40 m (17 ft 812 in)) and the trio shared in breaking Fred Hansen's Olympic record of 5.10 m (16 ft 834 in) set at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Both Seagren and Schiprowski cleared the winning height on their second attempt and were separated by Schiprowski having two misses earlier in the competition, while Seagren only had one. Nordwig entered the final height, tied with Seagren with only one miss earlier in the competition, but Nordwig took three attempts to clear the winning height. Of the top five competitors, only Schiprowski would not hold the World record at some point in time. Tenth place Kjell Isaksson would also hold the world record.


  • Competition format 1
  • Schedule 2
  • Records 3
  • Results 4
    • Qualifying 4.1
    • Final 4.2
  • References 5

Competition format

The competition consisted of two rounds, qualification and final. In both rounds, each athlete had three attempts at each height and was eliminated from the competition if he failed to clear that height. Athletes could choose to pass onto the next height, although any failed attempts were carried over into that height. The heights increased in increments of five centimetres. Athletes who successfully jumped the qualifying height 4.90 m (16 ft 034 in) progressed to the final round. In the event that fewer than twelve athletes cleared that height, the best twelve athletes (including those tied with athletes in the top twelve) would progress to the next round.[1]


Date Time Round
Monday, 14 October 1968 ? Qualifications
Wednesday, 16 October 1968 ? Finals


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Bob Seagren (USA) 5.41 m A[2] Echo Summit, United States 12 September 1968
Olympic record  Fred Hansen (USA) 5.10 m[3] Tokyo, Japan 17 October 1964

The following new Olympic record was set during this competition:

Date Event Athlete Mark Notes
16 October Final  Bob Seagren (USA)
 Claus Schiprowski (FRG)
 Wolfgang Nordwig (GDR)
5.40 OR



Rank Group Name Nationality Mark 4.20 4.30 4.40 4.50 4.60 4.70 4.75 4.80 4.85 4.90 Notes
1= A Wolfgang Nordwig East Germany 4.90 o
1= A John Pennel United States 4.90 o
3= A Altti Alarotu Finland 4.90 o o
3= A Erkki Mustakari Finland 4.90 o o
3= A Hervé d'Encausse France 4.90 o o
3= A Claus Schiprowski West Germany 4.90 o o
3= A Christos Papanikolaou Greece 4.90 o o
3= A Hennadiy Bleznitsov Soviet Union 4.90 o o
9= B Ignacio Sola Spain 4.90 o o o
9= B Mike Bull Great Britain 4.90 o o o
9= B Kiyoshi Niwa Japan 4.90 o o o
12 B Aleksandr Malyutin Soviet Union 4.90 xxo o o xxo o
13 A Bob Seagren United States 4.90 xo
14 A Kjell Isaksson Sweden 4.90 o xo
15 A Heinfried Engel West Germany 4.90 o o xxo
16 B Pantelis Nikolaidis Greece 4.80 o o o xxx
17 B Enrico Barney Argentina 4.80 o o xo o xxo o xxx
18 B Klaus Lehnertz West Germany 4.75 o o o xxx
19 B John-Erik Blomqvist Sweden 4.75 o xxo xxx
20 A Casey Carrigan United States 4.60 o xxx
21 B Wu Ah-Min Republic of China 4.50 o o o xxx
22 B Heinz Wyss Switzerland 4.50 xo o r
N/A B Ingo Peyker Austria xxx

Key: OR = Olympic record; o = clear ; – = pass; x = fail; r = retired


Rank Name Nationality 4.60 4.80 4.90 5.00 5.05 5.10 5.15 5.20 5.25 5.30 5.35 5.40 5.45 Mark Notes
1st Bob Seagren United States o xo o xo xxx 5.40 OR
2nd Claus Schiprowski West Germany o o o o xo o xo xo xxx 5.40 OR
3rd Wolfgang Nordwig East Germany xo o o o xxo xxx 5.40 OR
4 Christos Papanikolaou Greece o o o xo xo o xxx 5.35
5 John Pennel United States o xo xo xxo xxx 5.35
6 Hennadiy Bleznitsov Soviet Union o o o o xo xxx 5.30
7 Hervé d'Encausse France o xo o xxx 5.25
8 Heinfried Engel West Germany o xxo xo o xxx 5.20
9 Ignacio Sola Spain xo o xo o xxo xxx 5.20
10 Kjell Isaksson Sweden o xo o xxx 5.15
11 Kiyoshi Niwa Japan o o o o xo xxx 5.15
12 Aleksandr Malyutin Soviet Union o o o xxx 5.00
13 Mike Bull Great Britain xo o xo xxx 5.00
14 Altti Alarotu Finland xxo r 5.00
N/A Erkki Mustakari Finland xxx NM

Key: OR = Olympic record; o = clear ; – = pass; x = fail; r = retired


  1. ^ Athletics at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:Men's Pole Vault Qualifying Round. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Athletics at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games:Men's Pole Vault. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  • Sports Reference
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