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Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

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Men's pole vault
at the Games of the XXX Olympiad
VenueOlympic Stadium
Date8–10 August
Competitors32 from 23 nations
Winning height5.97 OR
1st place, gold medalist(s) Renaud Lavillenie
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Björn Otto
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Raphael Holzdeppe
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Official Video Highlights

The men's pole vault was a competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The event was held at the Olympic Stadium on 8–10 August.[1] Thirty-two athletes from 23 nations competed.[2] The event was won by Renaud Lavillenie of France, the nation's first victory in the event since 1996 and third overall. Björn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany took silver and bronze, respectively; like France, it was the first time since 1996 that Germany reached the men's pole vault podium.


Nobody took an attempt at the auto-qualifying mark. As it turned out, it took a clean round through 5.50 to make the final.

Four of the 14 finalists only cleared 5.50. Four passed to 5.65 where defending champion, oft injured Steven Hooker and former world champion Brad Walker failed to clear their opening height. The medals were decided at 5.85, Renaud Lavillenie clearing on his first attempt, Björn Otto on the second and Raphael Holzdeppe on his third. The two Germans cleared 5.91 on their first attempt, while Lavillenie missed. So Lavillenie strategically passed to 5.97. On his second attempt, it was all or nothing. Lavillenie cleared it cleanly. In silver medal position on fewer misses, Otto passed to hope for a miracle at 6.02 while Holzdeppe failed at 5.97 and took the bronze. Otto's attempt at 6.02 was close but a failure. With the gold in hand Lavillenie took his remaining couple of attempts at 6.07.

During one part of the competition, Cuban Lázaro Borges was attempting to mark 5.35 metres when his pole broke into three large pieces (and at least two small ones).[3] The incident has been used in several Olympic bloopers videos.


This was the 27th appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The top five finalists from the 2008 Games returned: gold medalist Steven Hooker of Australia, silver medalist Yevgeny Lukyanenko of Russia, bronze medalist (later stripped) Denys Yurchenko of Ukraine, fourth-place finisher (later upgraded to bronze medalist) Derek Miles of the United States, and fifth-place finisher Dmitry Starodubtsev of Russia. Other returning finalists were Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany and Jan Kudlička of the Czech Republic. Renaud Lavillenie of France had taken third at the last two world championships and was favored to win, over reigning world champion Paweł Wojciechowski of Poland.[2]

Croatia made its men's pole vaulting debut. The United States made its 26th appearance, most of any nation, having missed only the boycotted 1980 Games.


A National Olympic Committee (NOC) could enter up to 3 qualified athletes in the men's pole vault event if all athletes met the A standard, or 1 athlete if they met the B standard. The maximum number of athletes per nation had been set at 3 since the 1930 Olympic Congress. The qualifying height standards could be obtained in various meets during the qualifying period that had the approval of the IAAF. Both outdoor and indoor meets were eligible. The A standard for the 2012 men's pole vault was 5.72 metres; the B standard was 5.60 metres. The qualifying period for was from 1 May 2011 to 8 July 2012. NOCs could also have an athlete enter the pole vault through a universality place. NOCs could enter one male athlete in an athletics event, regardless of height, if they had no male athletes meeting the qualifying A or B standards in any men's athletic event.[4][5][6]

Competition format[edit]

The competition consisted of two rounds, qualification and final. In qualification, each athlete had three attempts at each height and was eliminated if he failed to clear any height. Athletes who successfully jumped the qualifying height moved on the final. If fewer than 12 reached that height, the best 12 moved on. Cleared heights reset for the final, which followed the same three-attempts-per-height format until all athletes reached a height they could not jump.[7]


Prior to this competition, the existing world and Olympic records were as follows:

World record  Sergey Bubka (UKR) 6.14 Sestriere, Italy 31 July 1994
Olympic record  Steven Hooker (AUS) 5.96 Beijing, China 22 August 2008
2012 World leading  Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 5.97 m Helsinki, Finland 1 July 2012

Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.97 metres to win the gold medal and set a new Olympic record.


All times are British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Date Time Round
Wednesday, 8 August 2012 10:00 Qualifying
Friday, 10 August 2012 19:00 Finals



  • o = Height cleared
  • x = Height failed
  • = Height passed
  • r  = Retired
  • SB = Season's best
  • PB = Personal best
  • NR = National record
  • AR = Area record
  • OR = Olympic record
  • WR = World record
  • WL = World lead
  • NM = No mark
  • DNS = Did not start
  • DQ = Disqualified

Qualifying round[edit]

Qual. rule: qualification standard 5.70m (Q) or at least best 12 (q) qualified.[8]

Rank Group Athlete Nation 5.20 5.35 5.50 5.60 5.65 Height Notes
1 B Raphael Holzdeppe  Germany xo o 5.65 q
B Renaud Lavillenie  France xo o 5.65 q
3 A Konstadinos Filippidis  Greece o o o 5.60 q
4 A Yevgeny Lukyanenko  Russia xxo o 5.60 q
A Romain Mesnil  France xo o xo 5.60 q
B Brad Walker  United States xxo o 5.60 q
7 B Dmitry Starodubtsev  Russia xo xo xo 5.60 q, DPG[2]
8 A Łukasz Michalski  Poland xo xxo xo 5.60 q
9 B Igor Bychkov  Spain o o xx- x 5.50 q
A Steve Hooker  Australia o 5.50 q
B Jan Kudlička  Czech Republic o o 5.50 q
A Steven Lewis  Great Britain o 5.50 q
A Malte Mohr  Germany o 5.50 q
A Björn Otto  Germany o 5.50 q
15 A Jeremy Scott  United States o xo xxx 5.50
16 B Lázaro Borges  Cuba xxo xo xxx 5.50
B Sergey Kucheryanu  Russia xxo xo xxx 5.50
18 B Nikita Filippov  Kazakhstan o o xxx 5.35
18 A Maksym Mazuryk  Ukraine o xxx 5.35 DPG[9]
20 A Ivan Horvat  Croatia o xo xxx 5.35
B Yang Yansheng  China xo xxx 5.35
22 B Mareks Ārents  Latvia xo xo xxx 5.35
23 B Stanislau Tsivonchyk  Belarus xo xxx 5.20 DPG[2]
24 A Edi Maia  Portugal xxo xxx 5.20
B Jere Bergius  Finland xxx No mark
A Fábio Gomes da Silva  Brazil xxx No mark
B Alhaji Jeng  Sweden xxx No mark
A Kim Yoo-Suk  South Korea xxx No mark
B Derek Miles  United States xxx No mark
B Paweł Wojciechowski  Poland xxx No mark
A Seito Yamamoto  Japan xxx No mark
B Denys Yurchenko  Ukraine xxx No mark


Rank Athlete Nation 5.50 5.65 5.75 5.85 5.91 5.97 6.02 6.07 Height Notes
1st place, gold medalist(s) Renaud Lavillenie  France o o o x- xo x- xx 5.97 OR
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Björn Otto  Germany o o xo xo o xx- x 5.91
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Raphael Holzdeppe  Germany xo xo xxo o xxx 5.91 PB
4 Steven Lewis  Great Britain xo xo xxx 5.75
Yevgeny Lukyanenko  Russia xo xo xxx 5.75 SB
6 Konstadinos Filippidis  Greece o xo xxx 5.65
7 Jan Kudlička  Czech Republic o xxo xxx 5.65
8 Malte Mohr  Germany o xxx 5.50
Romain Mesnil  France o xxx 5.50
10 Łukasz Michalski  Poland xo xxx 5.50
11 Igor Bychkov  Spain xxo xxx 5.50
Brad Walker  United States xxx No mark
Steve Hooker  Australia xxx No mark
Dmitry Starodubtsev  Russia o xo o xxx 5.75 DPG[2]


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Pole Vault, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Vaulter's pole snaps into three pieces". BBC Sport.
  4. ^ "QUALIFICATION SYSTEM – GAMES OF THE XXX OLYMPIAD" (PDF). IAAF. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Olympic Qualifying Procedures for Athletics". Telegraph. 15 April 2011. Archived from the original on 19 April 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Amended Qualifying Standards". IAAF. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Men's Pole Vault competition format". London 2012 Organising Committee. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Olympic Games 2012 – Results Pole Vault W Qualification". Archived from the original on 8 December 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  9. ^ "IOC sanctions two athletes for failing anti-doping test at London 2012". 14 July 2021.