Vai al contenuto
Home » Developement of the Pole Vault

Developement of the Pole Vault

    Pole Vault in Masters Athletics

    Stabhochspringer r

    Foto AH. M75, WM Malaga 2018. Gold: Ole Kristian Skaug (Nr. 4966), Norway

    Wolfgang Ritte (M65, GER) is familiar with the development of the pole vault. A total of 46 times, he himself improved Masters world records. In an interview he described the development of the pole vault, the content of which is summarized below.

    Americans dominated the Pole Vault for a long time

    The pole vault has been an Olympic discipline since 1896. For over 60 years, the US athletes dominated the pole vault.


    Europeans improve in Pole Vault

    Only at the 1972 Olympics, the German Wolfgang Nordwig ended the dominance of the Americans. Since 1980, the Europeans have kept the world record in this sport without interruption. This is mainly due to Sergei Bubka, who improved the world record 35 times in total over 20 years.

    The Masters currently hold all age-group world records (from M35 to M95) exclusively from US and German pole vaulters. Nine records are still in the possession of the American pole vaulters and four are held by the German athletes Björn Otto (M35) and Wolfgang Ritte (M55, M60 and M65). Even among women, the world records predominate outweigh the Americans (seven out of eleven).

    At the WMAC this year, however, it became clear that the Europeans had made up very much. Fourteen out of nineteen gold medals in the pole vault were awarded to Europeans, seven for the women and seven for the men.

    Prominent Pole Vault Family Ritte

    WRitte URitte MalagaB r

    Foto Ritte: Ute and Wolfgang Ritte, WMAC 2018, Malaga

    The German Wolfgang Ritte improved 46 times world records in the pole vault in different age groups. This year, M65, he improved the European record eleven times and the world record six times, indoor to 3.96 meters and outdoor to 4.05 meters.


    Preparing for the M65 World Record

    Wolfgang Ritte spent more than two years preparing intensively and focused on improving the pole vault world record M65 in 2018. He wanted to take the chance to be the first person over 65 to crack the magic mark of 4m. For him, this mark has the same meaning as the 6m for Bubka, Lavillenie, Duplantis and others. Until 19.05.2018, he failed several times just short of the desired world record height. When he finally realized his dream with skipped 4.00 m on May 19, 2018, he even managed to improve the world record to 4.05m. Age graded, the height means 1318 points that have never been achieved by anyone else.

    Secret of Success

    When asked how he explains his achievements in the pole vault, Wolfgang Ritte gives two answers:

    1. “I am very fortunate that my entire family shares my pole vault passion. My wife, my children and meanwhile also my grandchildren are enthusiastic pole vaulters and we support each other. As a result, we often celebrate success together.”

    Wolfgang Ritte and his wife Ute won a total of 7 medals (4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze) at the World Championships in Malaga.

    1. Wolfgang Ritte also sees in his versatile training a crucial component. He says: “A good pole vaulter needs many qualities: speed, bounce, stability in the arms, shoulders and body, sense of movement or rhythm and last but not least courage. That’s why an excellent pole vaulter always has to be good in combinded events and, in particular, an outstanding sprinter and long jumper. “

    This explains why Wolfgang Ritte not only won the title in the pole vault at the World Championships in Malaga by a large margin, but also won in the long jump and in the hurdle sprint. Both in the pole vault and in the long jump he would have won with his achieved at the World Championships in Malaga performances in the younger age groups.