| Event type

Pole Vault, Men

Date 5 August 1936
LocationOlympiastadion, Reichssportfeld, Berlin
Participants30 from 21 countries

The AAU Champion in 1936 was George Varoff, who broke the world record in winning that title, but he did not make the US team. The three US vaulters, Earle Meadows, Bill Sefton, and Bill Graber, were favored with little to choose among them. Graber had been favored in 1932 and finished out of the medals in fourth. In 1936, he would suffer a similar fate, placing fifth. Four vaulters went over 4.25 (13-11¼) – Meadows, Sefton, and two Japanese, the 1932 silver medalist, Shuhei Nishida, and Sueo Oe. But at 4.35 (14-3¼), only Meadows succeeded, clearing on his second attempt, and he had the gold medal.

Nishida, Oe, and Sefton went to a jump-off at 4.15 (13-7¼), with Sefton missing and out of the medals. It has been written more recently that the Japanese places were decided by lot or a coin toss, placing Nishida second and Oe third. However, it appears that after Sefton had been eliminated in the jump-off, the Japanese officials stepped in and chose Nishida to receive the silver medal and Oe the bronze. Several reasons are given in contemporary German sources – 1) Nishida was older, and 2) Nishida had cleared 4.25 on his first jump, while Oe failed once at that height. While there is some justification for listing both as equal second, we follow the 1936 Official Report which has Nishida second and Oe third. However, back in Japan, Nishida and Oe took their medals, cut them apart, and combined them into a half-silver, half-bronze medal, the only two of their type ever created.

The lack of countback rules resulted in an 11-way tie for sixth. One of those in =6th was Canadian Syl Apps, one of Canada’s greatest-ever athletes. He later played for 10 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifying RoundFinal Round
1783Earle MeadowsUSA3.80 (=1)4.35 (1)GoldOR
2400Shuhei NishidaJPN3.80 (=1)4.25 (2)Silver1
3401Sueo OeJPN3.80 (=1)4.25 (3)Bronze2
4784Bill SeftonUSA3.80 (=1)4.25 (4)3
5782Bill GraberUSA3.80 (=1)4.15 (5)
=6399Kiyoshi AdachiJPN3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=689Syl AppsCAN3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6720Péter BácsalmásiHUN3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6510Josef HaunzwickelAUT3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6348Danilo InnocentiITA3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6684Jan KorejsTCH3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6596Bo LjungbergSWE3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6512Alfred ProkschAUT3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6549Wilhelm SchneiderPOL3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6287Dick WebsterGBR3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=6721Viktor ZsuffkaHUN3.80 (=1)4.00 (=6)
=17661Andries du PlessisRSA3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17144Ernst LarsenDEN3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17865Julius MüllerGER3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17683Miroslav KlásekTCH3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17119Fu BaoluCHN3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17230Pierre RamadierFRA3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
=17866Siegfried SchulzGER3.80 (=1)3.80 (=17)
2498Adolfo SchlegelCHI3.80 (=1)3.60 (24)
25229André CrépinFRA3.80 (=1)3.40 (25)
=26 r1/2180Aulis ReinikkaFIN3.70 (=26)
=26 r1/2148Evald ÄärmaEST3.70 (=26)
=26 r1/2433Jaša BakovYUG3.70 (=26)
=29 r1/2532Guillermo ChirichignoPER3.50 (=29)
=29 r1/2465Rigoberto PérezMEX3.50 (=29)
DNS40Fred WoodhouseAUS
DNS511Hugo HuberAUT
DNS120Wang HoCHN
DNS139Svend Aage ThomsenDEN
DNS231Robert VintouskyFRA
DNS13Peter ClentzosGRE

Qualifying Round (5 August 1936)

All those clearing 3.80 metres advanced to the final.

=1Earle MeadowsUSA3.80Q
=1Shuhei NishidaJPN3.80Q
=1Sueo OeJPN3.80Q
=1Bill SeftonUSA3.80Q
=1Bill GraberUSA3.80Q
=1Kiyoshi AdachiJPN3.80Q
=1Syl AppsCAN3.80Q
=1Péter BácsalmásiHUN3.80Q
=1Josef HaunzwickelAUT3.80Q
=1Danilo InnocentiITA3.80Q
=1Jan KorejsTCH3.80Q
=1Bo LjungbergSWE3.80Q
=1Alfred ProkschAUT3.80Q
=1Wilhelm SchneiderPOL3.80Q
=1Dick WebsterGBR3.80Q
=1Viktor ZsuffkaHUN3.80Q
=1Andries du PlessisRSA3.80Q
=1Ernst LarsenDEN3.80Q
=1Julius MüllerGER3.80Q
=1Miroslav KlásekTCH3.80Q
=1Fu BaoluCHN3.80Q
=1Pierre RamadierFRA3.80Q
=1Siegfried SchulzGER3.80Q
=1Adolfo SchlegelCHI3.80Q
=1André CrépinFRA3.80Q
=26Aulis ReinikkaFIN3.70
=26Evald ÄärmaEST3.70
=26Jaša BakovYUG3.70
=29Guillermo ChirichignoPER3.50
=29Rigoberto PérezMEX3.50

Final Round (5 August 1936 — 16:00)

PosAthleteNOCHeight3.40 m3.60 m3.80 m4.00 m4.15 m4.25 m4.35 m4.45 m
1Earle MeadowsUSA4.35-o-ooxoxoxxxOR
2Shuhei NishidaJPN4.25--ooooxxx
3Sueo OeJPN4.25--oooxoxxx
4Bill SeftonUSA4.25-o-oxxooxxx
5Bill GraberUSA4.15-o-oxoxxx
=6Kiyoshi AdachiJPN4.00-oooxxx
=6Syl AppsCAN4.00-oooxxx
=6Péter BácsalmásiHUN4.00-ooxxoxxx
=6Josef HaunzwickelAUT4.00-ooxoxx-
=6Danilo InnocentiITA4.00-ooxoxxx
=6Jan KorejsTCH4.00-xooxxoxxx
=6Bo LjungbergSWE4.00-oooxxx
=6Alfred ProkschAUT4.00-oooxxx
=6Wilhelm SchneiderPOL4.00--ooxxx
=6Dick WebsterGBR4.00-oooxxx
=6Viktor ZsuffkaHUN4.00-ooxxoxxx
=17Andries du PlessisRSA3.80oooxxx
=17Ernst LarsenDEN3.80-ooxxx
=17Julius MüllerGER3.80-ooxxx
=17Miroslav KlásekTCH3.80-ooxxx
=17Fu BaoluCHN3.80-ooxxx
=17Pierre RamadierFRA3.80-ooxxx
=17Siegfried SchulzGER3.80-ooxxx
24Adolfo SchlegelCHI3.60-xox--
25André CrépinFRA3.40oxxx

Jump-Off for 2-4

PosAthleteNOCHeight4.35 m4.25 m4.15 m
1Shuhei NishidaJPN4.25xxo
2Sueo OeJPN4.25xxo
3Bill SeftonUSA4.25xxx