Bubka Clears 20- 1/4 Outdoors in Sweden : Pole vault: Soviet says crowd inspired him. It is his fourth outdoor world record of year.
Soviet pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, who had cleared 20 feet three times indoors, became the first to do it outdoors, at Monday’s iDag Galan track meet.
But Bubka was not hopeful during warm-ups. Bubka, who holds the indoor world record of 20-1, was tired and felt some pain in his left leg while preparing for the competition.
But almost five hours later, on his final attempt, Bubka cleared 20- 1/4, breaking his outdoor mark of 19-11 3/4 set in Formia, Italy, on July 8.
“It was so difficult jumping early in the competition,” said Bubka, who made his first two heights at 18-8 1/4 and 19-2 1/4.
“I only had one rest day after competing in Monaco Saturday and my leg was hurting, so I only planned to make one try at (20- 1/4).”
But the fans changed his mind. With most of crowd still chanting “Bubka, Bubka,” the Soviet vaulter got all the motivation he needed.
“The atmosphere was great,” Bubka said. “The fans helped me. They gave me power. I felt very fast and very strong.”
It was the fourth time this year Bubka broke the outdoor record, and the 28th time overall, indoors and outdoors, he has broken the pole vault mark.
Vladimir Poliakov, Bubka’s teammate, was second at 18-8 1/4. Third went to another Soviet, Viktor Ryzhenkov, who also cleared 18-8 1/4. American Dean Starkey was eighth at 18-4 1/2.
Greg Foster, a double world champion in 1983 and 1987, won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.12 seconds.
It was the fifth fastest time of the year and .02 seconds slower than his season’s best. Fellow American Tony Dees, fastest this year at 13.05, led midway through the race and finished in 13.13.
Johnny Gray won the 800 in 1:43.84 with Briton Tom McKean second in 1:44.20. Peter Elliott, a 1,500-meter specialist, was sixth in 1:45.52.
Other U.S. winners included Hollis Conway in the high jump at 7-7, Kenny Harrison in the triple jump at 56-10 1/4, Mike Powell in the long jump at 26-9 3/4 and Gail Devers-Roberts, who ran 12.63 in the 100 hurdles to defeat Natalia Gregorieva of the Soviet Union by .01.