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| Event type

Pole Vault, Men

Date24 – 26 November 1956
StatusOlympic
LocationMelbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Victoria
Participants19 from 12 countries

The defending champion, Bob Richards, was back and was the favorite again. He had been AAU Champion every year since 1948, save for 1953, and was also Pan-American champion in 1951 and 1955. In the qualifying he missed twice at his opening height of 4.00 (13-1½), but got over on his third attempt and eventually qualified easily. There were expected to be two Europeans contending, Ragnar Lundberg (SWE), 1952 bronze medalist and 1950 European Champion, and 1954 European Champion, Eeles Landström of Finland. They would finish fifth and seventh respectively. The best European turned out to be the surprising Georgios Roubanis (GRE), who was the first vaulter to use a fiberglass pole in a major international competition. He used it to good effect, clearing a PR 4.50 (14-9) and winning the bronze medal. Richards won the competition for gold fairly easily. He jumped every height from 4.15 (13-7¼) to 4.53 (14-10¼) and had no misses. He then cleared 4.56 (14-11½) on his third attempt for the gold medal. Still with him at that height was American Bob Gutowski, who had missed four times at earlier heights, and failed to clear 4.56 (14-11½), earning the silver medal. In April 1957, Gutowski vaulted 4.78 (15-8¼) in a collegiate dual meet for a world record, finally breaking the vaunted world record of 4.77 (15-7¾) set by Cornelius “Dutch” Warmerdam in 1942. Richards predicted that Gutowski would become the first 16-foot vaulter but he was killed in a car crash in August 1960.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifying RoundFinal Round
1296Bob RichardsUSA4.15 (11)4.56 (1)GoldOR
2396Bob GutowskiUSA4.15 (7)4.53 (2)Silver
3291Georgios RoubanisGRE4.15 (=5)4.50 (3)Bronze
4397George MattosUSA4.15 (1)4.35 (4)
5395Ragnar LundbergSWE4.15 (=5)4.25 (5)
6393Zenon WażnyPOL4.15 (=8)4.25 (6)
7386Eeles LandströmFIN4.15 (=12)4.25 (7)
8387Manfred PreußgerGER4.15 (=12)4.25 (8)
=9390Giulio ChiesaITA4.15 (=2)4.15 (=9)
=9398Vladimir BulatovURS4.15 (=2)4.15 (=9)
11399Anatoly PetrovURS4.15 (=8)4.15 (11)
12392Zbigniew JaniszewskiPOL4.15 (=2)4.15 (12)
13400Vitaly ChernobayURS4.15 (=8)4.00 (13)
AC r2/2387Matti SutinenFIN4.15 (=12)– (AC)
15 r1/2391Allah DittaPAK4.00 (15)
16 r1/2394Rolando CruzPUR4.00 (16)
17 r1/2385Bruce PeeverAUS3.85 (17)
18 r1/2384Peter DentonAUS3.85 (18)
AC r1/2388Victor SillonFRA– (AC)

Qualifying Round (26 November 1956 — 10:00)

All those clearing 4.15 metres advanced to the final.

PosAthleteNOCHeightMissesTotal MissesTotal Attempts3.70 m3.85 m4.00 m4.15 m
1George MattosUSA4.15002-o-oQ
=2Giulio ChiesaITA4.15003-oooQ
=2Zbigniew JaniszewskiPOL4.15003-oooQ
=2Vladimir BulatovURS4.15003-oooQ
=5Georgios RoubanisGRE4.15004ooooQ
=5Ragnar LundbergSWE4.15004ooooQ
7Bob GutowskiUSA4.15013xo--oQ
=8Zenon WażnyPOL4.15014-xoooQ
=8Vitaly ChernobayURS4.15014-xoooQ
=8Anatoly PetrovURS4.15014-oxooQ
11Bob RichardsUSA4.15025-oxxooQ
=12Eeles LandströmFIN4.15115oooxoQ
=12Matti SutinenFIN4.15115oooxoQ
=12Manfred PreußgerGER4.15115oooxoQ
15Allah DittaPAK4.00135-xxoxoxxx
16Rolando CruzPUR4.00225ooxxoxxx
17Bruce PeeverAUS3.85002ooxxx
18Peter DentonAUS3.85013xooxxx
ACVictor SillonFRANH

Final Round (26 November 1956 — 13:30)

PosAthleteNOCHeightMissesTotal MissesTotal Attempts4.00 m4.15 m4.25 m4.35 m4.40 m4.45 m4.50 m4.53 m4.56 m4.59 m
1Bob RichardsUSA4.561110ooooooooxoxxxOR
2Bob GutowskiUSA4.530412oooxoxoxxoooxxx
3Georgios RoubanisGRE4.50029ooxoxooooxxx
4George MattosUSA4.35003o-ooxxx
5Ragnar LundbergSWE4.25002o-oxxx
6Zenon WażnyPOL4.25003oooxxx
7Eeles LandströmFIN4.25113o-xoxxx
8Manfred PreußgerGER4.25125oxoxoxxx
=9Giulio ChiesaITA4.15013xooxxx
=9Vladimir BulatovURS4.15013xooxxx
11Anatoly PetrovURS4.15113oxoxxx
12Zbigniew JaniszewskiPOL4.15124xoxoxxx
13Vitaly ChernobayURS4.00001oxxx
ACMatti SutinenFINNH