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| Event type

Pole Vault, Men

Date10 – 11 July 1912
StatusOlympic
LocationStockholms Olympiastadion, Stockholm
Participants25 from 11 countries
Olympic Record 3.66 / Ed Cook USA / 24 July 1908

In this era, the United States absolutely dominated pole vaulting. In fact, the final came down to 11 vaulters, eight of them American, with lone athletes from Canada, Germany, and Sweden. There was no clear American favorite.

A review of recent performances shows how open the competition would be among the United States’ vaulters. The most recent AAU titles had been won as follows: 1909 - Roy Paulding, 1910 - Harry Babcock, and 1911 - a three-way tie between Ed Cook, Frank Coyle, and Sam Bellah. Cook was the defending Olympic champion, having shared the 1908 gold medal with A. C. Gilbert. The three U.S. Olympic trials, went as follows: Western - Bellah won; Central - Frank Murphy won, with Coyle second; and Eastern - Marc Wright won, with Frank Nelson second.

The world record had also taken a recent beating by the American vault crew. At the beginning of 1912, the mark stood at 3.93, set in Boulder, Colorado on 27 May 1910 by Leland Scott. But at the IC4A title in Philadelphia on 1 June 1912, Yale’s Robert Gardner won, clearing 3.985 (13-1), the first 13-foot vault. The mark lasted only a week, as Marc Wright won the eastern Olympic Trial with the first four-metre vault, clearing 13-2¼ (4.02).

Of the above mentioned American vaulters, all but Cook, Gilbert, Paulding, and Gardner competed at Stockholm, giving the United States six top vaulters from which to choose. Among other nations, the Swedes championed Bertil Uggla, while Canada sent William Halpenny, who had been United States’ AAU champion in 1908 and would win the Canadian championship in 1911-1913.

The final six vaulters came down to Uggla, Halpenny, and four Americans - Babcock, Nelson, Wright and Murphy. At 3.85 metres, Halpenny had to withdraw, having broken two ribs in clearing 3.80. He was joined by Uggla and Murphy who failed to clear 3.85. At 3.85, Harold Babcock cleared on his first attempt, while Nelson and Wright needed two efforts. But when the bar was raised to 3.95, only Babcock was successful, again on one attempt. He took three shots at a new world record of 4.06 (13-3¾) but failed.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifying RoundFinal Round
1Harry BabcockUSA3.65 (=1)3.95 (1)GoldOR
=2Frank NelsonUSA3.65 (=1)3.85 (=2)SilverOR
=2Marc WrightUSA3.65 (=1)3.85 (=2)SilverOR
=3William HalpennyCAN3.65 (=1)3.80 (=3)BronzeOR
=3Bertil UgglaSWE3.65 (=1)3.80 (=3)BronzeOR
=3Frank MurphyUSA3.65 (=1)3.80 (=3)BronzeOR
7Sam BellahUSA3.65 (=1)3.75 (7)OR
=8Frank CoyleUSA3.65 (=1)3.65 (=8)
=8Gordon DukesUSA3.65 (=1)3.65 (=8)
=8Bill FritzUSA3.65 (=1)3.65 (=8)
11Robert PasemannGER3.65 (=1)3.40 (11)
=12 r1/2Carl HårlemanSWE3.60 (=12)
=12 r1/2Richard SjöbergSWE3.60 (=12)
=12 r1/2Clas GilleSWE3.60 (=12)
15 r1/2Fernand GonderFRA3.50 (15)
=16 r1/2Fritz Bøchen VikkeDEN3.40 (=16)
=16 r1/2Ulrich BaaschRUS3.40 (=16)
=18 r1/2Viktor FranzlAUT3.20 (=18)
=18 r1/2Georgios BanikasGRE3.20 (=18)
=18 r1/2Magnus NilssonSWE3.20 (=18)
=18 r1/2Hugo SvenssonSWE3.20 (=18)
=18 r1/2Sander SantessonSWE3.20 (=18)
=23 r1/2Jindřich JirsákBOH3.00 (=23)
=23 r1/2Manlio LegatITA3.00 (=23)
NP r1/2Johann MartinRUS– (NP)
DNSJános SzemereHUN
DNSErik SimonssonSWE
DNSBarton HaggardUSA
DNSMaurice GaronFRA
DNSLeone LinardiITA
DNSStanley WagonerUSA
DNSFurio BiniITA
DNSAndré FrancquenelleFRA
DNSCharles LagardeFRA
DNSKálmán SzathmáryHUN
DNSAlfredo PaganiITA
DNSGösta HolmérSWE
DNSSkotte JacobssonSWE
DNSCharles LombergSWE
DNSHugo WieslanderSWE
DNSRoy MercerUSA

Qualifying Round (10 July 1912 — 14:15)

Qualifiers were separated into two groups. All those clearing 3.65 metres advanced to the final.

PosAthleteNOCHeight
=1Frank NelsonUSA3.65Q
=1Robert PasemannGER3.65Q
=1Bertil UgglaSWE3.65Q
=1Harry BabcockUSA3.65Q
=1William HalpennyCAN3.65Q
=1Gordon DukesUSA3.65Q
=1Marc WrightUSA3.65Q
=1Frank MurphyUSA3.65Q
=1Sam BellahUSA3.65Q
=1Frank CoyleUSA3.65Q
=1Bill FritzUSA3.65Q
=12Carl HårlemanSWE3.60
=12Richard SjöbergSWE3.60
=12Clas GilleSWE3.60
15Fernand GonderFRA3.50
=16Fritz Bøchen VikkeDEN3.40
=16Ulrich BaaschRUS3.40
=18Georgios BanikasGRE3.20
=18Magnus NilssonSWE3.20
=18Hugo SvenssonSWE3.20
=18Sander SantessonSWE3.20
=18Viktor FranzlAUT3.20
=23Jindřich JirsákBOH3.00
=23Manlio LegatITA3.00
NPJohann MartinRUS

Qualifying Round, Group A (10 July 1912 — 14:15)

PosAthleteNOCHeight3.00 m3.20 m3.40 m3.50 m3.60 m3.65 m
=1Frank NelsonUSA3.65o-oooxo
=1Robert PasemannGER3.65ooooxxoo
=1Bertil UgglaSWE3.65oooooxo
=1Harry BabcockUSA3.65ooooo
=1William HalpennyCAN3.65-oooo
=1Gordon DukesUSA3.65xxooxxooo
7Carl HårlemanSWE3.60xooxooxxx
8Fernand GonderFRA3.50xoxoooxxx
=9Georgios BanikasGRE3.20xoxoxxx
=9Magnus NilssonSWE3.20oxxx
ACJohann MartinRUSxxxNH

Qualifying Round, Group B (10 July 1912 — 14:15)

PosAthleteNOCHeight3.00 m3.20 m3.40 m3.50 m3.60 m3.65 m
=1Marc WrightUSA3.65-oooxo
=1Frank MurphyUSA3.65oooxxoo
=1Sam BellahUSA3.65-xoxxoxoo
=1Frank CoyleUSA3.65-oooxxo
=1Bill FritzUSA3.65ooooo
=6Richard SjöbergSWE3.60ooooxxoxxx
=6Clas GilleSWE3.60ooxxoxxx
=8Fritz Bøchen VikkeDEN3.40oooxxx
=8Ulrich BaaschRUS3.40oooxxx
=10Hugo SvenssonSWE3.20ooxxx
=10Sander SantessonSWE3.20xooxxx
=10Viktor FranzlAUT3.20xxooxxx
=13Jindřich JirsákBOH3.00oxxx
=13Manlio LegatITA3.00oxxx

Final Round (11 July 1912 — 15:15)

PosAthleteNOCHeight3.40 m3.50 m3.60 m3.65 m3.75 m3.80 m3.85 m3.95 m4.06 m
1Harry BabcockUSA3.95ooo-ooooxxxOR
=2Frank NelsonUSA3.85oooxoooxoxxxOR
=2Marc WrightUSA3.85ooooxoxoxoxxxOR
=3Bertil UgglaSWE3.80oooooxoxxxOR
=3William HalpennyCAN3.80oxoooxoxo-OR
=3Frank MurphyUSA3.80ooxoxoooxxxOR
7Sam BellahUSA3.75ooxooxoxxxOR
=8Frank CoyleUSA3.65ooxoxoxxx
=8Gordon DukesUSA3.65oooxxoxxx
=8Bill FritzUSA3.65oxoxoxxoxxx
11Robert PasemannGER3.40xoxxx