Athletics at the 1948 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

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Men's pole vault
at the Games of the XIV Olympiad
Dates July 31 (qualifying)
August 2 (final)
1st, gold medalist(s) Guinn Smith
 United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Erkki Kataja
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bob Richards
 United States
← 1936
1952 →
Video on YouTube Official Video
Pole Vault competition starts @ 26:10

The men's pole vault event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1948 Summer Olympics. The competition was held on July 31 and August 2. During the final, a rainstorm came in during the jumps at 4.10. All the jumpers at 4.20 and higher had to deal with wet conditions on the runway and with their poles. The final was won by American Guinn Smith. Erkki Kataja had held the lead with a perfect set of jumps until Smith's last attempt clearance of 4.30.[1]


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Cornelius Warmerdam (USA) 4.77 m Modesto, United States 23 May 1942
Olympic record  Earle Meadows (USA) 4.35 m Berlin, Germany 5 August 1936


All times are British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Saturday, 31 July 1948 11:00 Qualifications
Monday, 2 August 1948 14:30 Finals


Qualifying round[edit]

Qual. rule: qualification standard 4.00m (Q) or at least best 12 qualified (q).

Rank Name Nationality Result Notes
1 Guinn Smith  United States 4.00 Q
1 Erkki Kataja  Finland 4.00 Q
1 Bob Richards  United States 4.00 Q
1 Erling Kaas  Norway 4.00 Q
1 Ragnar Lundberg  Sweden 4.00 Q
1 Boo Morcom  United States 4.00 Q
1 Hugo Göllors  Finland 4.00 Q
1 Joe Barbosa  Puerto Rico 4.00 Q
1 José Vicente  Puerto Rico 4.00 Q
1 Victor Sillon  France 4.00 Q
1 Allan Lindberg  Sweden 4.00 Q
13 Georges Breitman  France 3.90
14 Theodosios Balafas  Greece 3.80
14 Torfi Bryngeirsson  Iceland 3.80
16 Luis Ganoza  Peru 3.70
17 Charles Bouvet  France 3.60
17 Richard Webster  Great Britain 3.60
17 Jaime Piqueras  Peru 3.60


Rank Athlete Nationality 3.95 4.10 4.20 4.30 4.40 Result Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Guinn Smith  United States xo xo o xxo xpp 4.30
2nd, silver medalist(s) Erkki Kataja  Finland o o o xxx 4.20
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Bob Richards  United States o xo xo xxx 4.20
4 Erling Kaas  Norway o o xxx 4.10
5 Ragnar Lundberg  Sweden o xxo xxx 4.10
6 Boo Morcom  United States o pass xxx 3.95
7 Hugo Göllors  Sweden xo 3.95
7 Valto Olenius  Finland xo 3.95
9 José Barbosa  Puerto Rico xxo 3.95
9 José Vicente  Puerto Rico xxo 3.95
9 Victor Sillon  France xxo 3.95
12 Allan Lindberg  Sweden xxx 3.80


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1948 London Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault". Retrieved 3 January 2018. 

External links[edit]