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Bubka Clears Record 19-8 in Pole Vault

July 14, 1985|From Times Wire Services

Sergei Bubka of the Soviet Union broke his own world pole vault record Saturday, clearing 19 feet 8 inches during the Paris International track and field meet.

On his third attempt, the 22-year-old Bubka shattered his own record of 19-5 3/4, which he set last Aug. 31 in Rome.

He barely grazed the crossbar with his chest on his record-setting jump, which converts to 6 meters. Raising his arms in victory, Bubka immediately was mobbed by photographers and well-wishers.

It was the only world record of the day and overshadowed a fine performance by Mary Decker Slaney of the United States in the women's 1,500 meters.

Slaney, in her last meet before her long-awaited showdown with South African Zola Budd in London next Saturday, turned in a winning time of 3 minutes 59.84 seconds. It was the best 1,500-meter time of the season but far short of the world record of 3:52.47 set by Tatiana Kazankina of the Soviet Union on Aug. 13, 1981, in Zurich.

During the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Slaney was knocked out of the women's 3,000 meters when she became involved in a collision with Budd.

After receiving a standing ovation from the 5,000 spectators at Paris' Jean Boin Stadium Saturday, Bubka told reporters: "Yes it was a dream (to reach 6 meters), but that was the dream of all pole vaulters.

"Last year I felt I was ready to reach 6 meters (19-8). But I missed my chances. I thought I'd make it one day, and I just kept working."

One reporter reminded Bubka that exactly a year ago, on July 13, 1984, he set an earlier world record of 19-4 in London.

"The No. 13 seems to bring me luck," the Soviet said. Asked if he ever expected to reach 7 meters (22-11 3/4), Bubka replied: "No. There will have to be another technical revolution (in pole construction) before that height can be reached."

American winners included Judy Brown in the women's 400-meter hurdles, 55.66 seconds; Joetta Clark in the women's 800 meters, 2:00.8; Roddie Haley in the men's 400 meters, 44.83, and Doug Padilla in the men's 5,000 meters, 13:35.46.

Desai Williams of Canada won both the men's 100- and 200-meters. He took the 100 in 10.1 and the 200 in 20.48.

Victor Kalinkin of the Soviet Union won the men's 800 meters in 1:47.60, while American Steve Scott was third in 1:48.34. Pascal Thiebault of France won the men's 1,500 meters in 3:36.17, with Sydney Maree of the United States third in 3:36.43.

American Billy Olson was fourth to Bubka in the pole vault at 18-4 1/2.

In London, Steve Cram surrendered his British 800 meters title in a bid to be fully fit to run against Olympic champions Joaquim Cruz of Brazil and Morocco's Said Aouita in next Tuesday's Grand Prix meet at Nice, France.

The 24-year-old British star, troubled by a nagging calf injury, coasted to victory in his heat at sun-drenched Crystal Palace in 1 minute 47.73 seconds--fastest of the qualifiers.

But Cram, the world 1,500-meter champion and Olympic silver medalist, later announced he would miss today's final as a precautionary measure.

"I could probably make it, but the calf is hurting a little, and I do not want to risk it in view of the race in Nice and next week's Talbot Games," Cram said.

"I need a few days off between races. I am sorry to disappoint the people at Crystal Palace, but if I want to get through the season, this is the sort of thing I am going to have to do.

"There is no problem with my overall fitness, but the injury does worry me after each race. I have to run in batches. I have been having treatment for six weeks and I am still hoping that I will not have to have surgery.

"But that has to be a possibility. I will just have to see how it goes."

Cram is scheduled to face Olympic 800-meter champion Cruz and 5,000-meter champion Aouita at 1,500 meters in Nice.


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