14 MAR 2003 General News

Men Pole Vault Qualification

Group A competitors had a tough time in the men's vault qualifying, nobody being able to clear the automatic-qualifying height of 5.65. The group did produce one man for the final, Viktor Chistiakov of Australia equalling the Oceania Record with his 5.60 clearance.

The other seven men who will compete in Saturday's medal contest came from Group B, all clearing 5.65. Four vaulters--Tim Lobinger of Germany, Rens Blom of Holland, Romain Mesnil of France and Vasiliy Gorshkov of Russia--had perfect records.

There were two surprise losses in Group A as both the reigning European champion (Aleksandr Averbukh of Israel) and Commonwealth Games winner (Okkert Brits of South Africa) failed to advance. Brits didn't clear a height and Averbukh could manage only 5.40.