Athletics at the 1904 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

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Men's pole vault
at the Games of the III Olympiad

Charles Dvorak in action on the way to his gold medal.
VenueFrancis Field
DateSeptember 3
Competitors7 from 2 nations
Winning height3.50 OR
Gold medal 
Silver medal 
Bronze medal 
Athletics at the
1904 Summer Olympics
Track events
60 m   men
100 m men
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800 m men
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2590 m steeplechase men
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Road events
Marathon men
Field events
Long jump men
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Pole vault men
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The men's pole vault was a track and field athletics event held as part of the Athletics at the 1904 Summer Olympics programme. It was the third time the event was held. Seven pole vaulters from two nations participated. The competition was held on Saturday, September 3, 1904. The event was won by Charles Dvorak of the United States, the nation's third consecutive victory in the event. With six of the seven vaulters, the United States swept the top three places—the first time that occurred in the pole vault, though the Americans had never had more than two vaulters compete previously. Through the 1904 Games, no American pole vaulter had ever placed lower than any non-American vaulter.

Background[edit | edit source]

This was the third appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. Charles Dvorak, who had expected to compete in 1900 but was foiled by machinations revolving around the Sunday schedule then, was able to compete in 1904. The French world record holder, Fernand Gonder, was not present. Most of the top Americans were; like many events in 1904, it was largely a United States championship.

Germany made its first appearance in the event. The United States made its third appearance, the only nation to have competed at every Olympic men's pole vault to that point.

Competition format[edit | edit source]

There was a single round of vaulting. The bar was raised by 3 inches each time.

Records[edit | edit source]

These were the standing world and Olympic records (in metres) prior to the 1904 Summer Olympics.

World record  Fernand Gonder (FRA) 3.69* Paris, France 26 June 1904
Olympic record  William Hoyt (USA) 3.30 Athens, Greece 10 April 1896 (NS)

* unofficial

Charles Dvorak set a new Olympic record of 3.50 metres. All 5 of the vaulters whose results are known bested the previous Olympic record.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Date Time Round
Saturday, 3 September 1904 Final

Results[edit | edit source]

Template:Olympic pole vault key

The tie for third was resolved through a series of jump-offs. In the three-way jump-off, the jumpers started at 3.28 metres, which all succeeded at. Allen and McLanahan were unable to replicate their 3.35 metres success, while Samse cleared that height to claim the bronze.

Rank Athlete Nation 3.28 3.35 3.43 3.50 3.71 Height Notes
1st, gold medalist(s) Charles Dvorak  United States o o o o x 3.50 OR
2nd, silver medalist(s) Louis Wilkins  United States o o o x N/A 3.43
3rd, bronze medalist(s) LeRoy Samse  United States o o x N/A 3.35
4 Ward McLanahan  United States o o x N/A 3.35
5 Claude Allen  United States o o x N/A 3.35
=6 Walter Dray  United States o x N/A 3.32
=6 Paul Weinstein  Germany o x N/A 3.32
Louis Wilkins clearing the bar on the way to the silver medal.
LeRoy Samse clearing the bar on the way to the bronze medal.
Ward McLanahan in action on the way to finish in fourth place.

Sources[edit | edit source]