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Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

The Men's Pole Vault event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union had an entrylist of 19 competitors. The final was held on Wednesday July 30, 1980. The top twelve and ties and all those clearing 5.40 metres advanced to the final.[1]

Men's pole vault
at the Games of the XXII Olympiad
VenueLenin Central Stadium
Date28 July 1980 (qualifications)
30 July 1980 (final)
Competitors19 from 10 nations
Winning height5.78 WR
1st, gold medalist(s) Władysław Kozakiewicz
2nd, silver medalist(s) Konstantin Volkov
 Soviet Union
2nd, silver medalist(s) Tadeusz Ślusarski
← 1976
1984 →

Throughout the event, home town fans were cheering for Konstantin Volkov, while booing, whistling and jeering at the Poles Tadeusz Ślusarski and Władysław Kozakiewicz. There were even accusations that the Soviet facility management were opening and closing giant doors to the stadium to change the wind pattern against opposing vaulters.

When Kozakiewicz secured his gold medal position, Kozakiewicz made the Bras d'honneur gesture which became known as "Kozakiewicz's gesture" (gest Kozakiewicza).[2] in defiance to the Soviet crowd. He later confirmed his dominance over the competition by breaking the world record, clearing at 5.78 meters.

The photos of this incident circled the globe, with the exception of the Soviet Union and its satellites, although the event was broadcast live on TV in many countries of the Bloc. While international observers varied in their reaction[citation needed] to the incident, Kozakiewicz's act received much support in Polish society, which resented Soviet control over Eastern Europe (Poland was in the midst of labor strikes that led to the creation of the labor union Solidarity less than two months later). After the 1980 Olympics ended, the Soviet ambassador to Poland demanded that Kozakiewicz be stripped of his medal over his "insult to the Soviet people".[3] The official response of the Polish government was that Kozakiewicz's arm gesture had been an involuntary muscle spasm caused by his exertion.





Held on Monday July 28, 1980

Qualification rule: Qualifying performance 5.40 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the Final.

Rank Group Name Nationality 5.15 5.25 5.35 5.40 Result Notes
1 A Tadeusz Ślusarski   Poland xo o 5.40 Q
1 B Mariusz Klimczyk   Poland xo o 5.40 Q
3 A Jean-Michel Bellot   France o xo o 5.40 Q
4 A Thierry Vigneron   France xo xo xo o 5.40 Q
5 A Władysław Kozakiewicz   Poland o xo 5.40 Q
6 B Miro Zalar   Sweden o o o xo 5.40 Q
7 B Tapani Haapakoski   Finland o xo xo 5.40 Q
8 A Konstantin Volkov   Soviet Union o o 5.35 q
9 B Rauli Pudas   Finland o o xxx 5.35 q
10 B Brian Hooper   Great Britain o o xo xxx 5.35 q
11 A Sergey Kulibaba   Soviet Union xo xo 5.35 q
12 A Philippe Houvion   France o xxo xo x 5.35 q
13 B Atanas Tarev   Bulgaria xo xxx 5.25
14 A Felix Böhni   Switzerland o xxx 5.15
15 B Axel Weber   East Germany xo xxx 5.15
A Antti Kalliomäki   Finland xxx NM
A Yuriy Prokhorenko   Soviet Union xxx NM
B Patrick Desruelles   Belgium xxx NM
B Ivo Yanchev   Bulgaria xxx NM


Held on Wednesday July 30, 1980.

Rank Name Nationality 5.15 5.25 5.35 5.45 5.50 5.55 5.60 5.65 5.70 5.75 5.78 5.82 Result Notes
  Władysław Kozakiewicz   Poland o o o o o o xo xxx 5.78 WR
  Konstantin Volkov   Soviet Union o o xxo xx– x 5.65
  Tadeusz Ślusarski   Poland o o xxo xxx 5.65
4 Philippe Houvion   France xo xo o xxo xxx 5.65
5 Jean-Michel Bellot   France o o o xxx 5.60
6 Mariusz Klimczyk   Poland o xo o xxx 5.55
7 Thierry Vigneron   France o o xxx 5.45
8 Sergey Kulibaba   Soviet Union xo o xxx 5.45
9 Tapani Haapakoski   Finland xo xo xxx 5.45
10 Miro Zalar   Sweden o o xx– x 5.35
11 Brian Hooper   Great Britain o o xxo xxx 5.35
12 Rauli Pudas   Finland o xxx 5.25

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Athletics at the 1980 Moscow Summer Games: Men's Pole Vault". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Gest Kozakiewicza" (in Italian). Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Władysław Kozakiewicz – Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2012.