History

Pole vault was first included in the Indian national championships in its third edition held at Lahore, that was part of the British India, during February 1928. The event was won by D.K. Chaudhry from Bengal Province with a modest 10’ ¾” (3.06 metres). In 2019 as much as 27 women pole vaulters scaled better than height in India.

But 91 years ago the World haven’t invent the fibre-glass pole, that revolutionized this event to a great extent. Chaudhry used a bamboo pole, as also his successors in the national championships for next two decades. Khurshid Ahmed from Uttar Pradesh became the national champion in 1950, using an aluminium pole to scale 3.55m at Bombay (Mumbai).

Few Indian vaulters started using the fibre-glass from mid-1960s, when it was made legal by the International Amateur Athletics Federation. Lakhbir Singh was the first successful champion with a national record 4.17m during the Open Nationals at Ajmer in 1966 using a fibre-glass pole.

THE BARTER SYSTEM

In olden days, before the introduction of a standard currency exchange system, people used to trade various products against other products from different regions or countries. It is called ‘Barter system’. Now you will be surprised to read that such type of system helped improve the pole vaulting in India and the first bench mark jump was made possible due it!

Jorden Korell was a moderate pole vaulter in United States. The 26-year-old US student came to India in 1985 as part of his higher studies. India’s 18-year-old pole vaulter Vijay Pal Singh had a chance meeting him at Delhi. Korell, when in Arkansas State University, already scaled 5.25m and noticed the lack of technique with the Indian boy. Fibre-glass pole are both expensive and need a totally different technique than what we used on the rigid bamboo/metal poles.

Vijay Pal was already an Indian interuniversity champion the previous year with a height of 3.82m at Gwalior in January 1985. Korell started imparting the nuances of fibre-glass vaulting to the Indian vaulter with a condition that he should teach him Hindi! The system worked very well as Vijay Pal improved rapidly to scale 4.90m to finish a credible sixth place in the Asian championships at Jakarta and improved his national record to 4.91m during the National Games at New Delhi in end of 1985.

Jorden and Vijay Pal worked further to improve the technique that helped the Indian to scale the benchmark 5 metres twice, both in qualification and final rounds, at the inaugural World junior championships at Athens in 1986. An year later, Vijay Pal retained the National Games crown with a 5.10m clearing at Thiruvananthapuram.

By the end of 2019 there were 24 vaulters scaling 6 metres and above from around the World. Also there were three women scaled the 5 metres to date in the World. So India needs another God-sent envoy from abroad to improve further in the art of pole vaulting!

 

INDIAN ALL-TIME TOP-100 LISTS (as of 31.12.2019) "Men POLE VAULT"

MarkPlaceAthleteStateDOBMeetVenueDate
5.30 NR1Subramaniam SivaTN1996-06-05Int-SerJalahalli2018-09-19
5.131Bimin K PKER1985-04-01Int-RlyJabalpur2012-08-23
5.11Vijay Pal SinghHAR1968-12-25NatGThiruvananthapuram1987-12-27
5.12Anuj SinghHAR1995-05-19FedCupPatiala2018-03-05
5.11Kundan SinghHAR1994-07-10ISACGuwahati2018-06-27
5.12Jessan K GKER1998-01-03Int-SerPune2019-09-09
5.051Geesh Kumar V VKER1977-11-02ONACHyderabad2005-11-09
5.051Gajanan Kumar UpadhyayUP1982-11-02ISACBhopal2007-09-19
5.052Jayaraj Preeth KumarTN1992-04-21ONACBhubaneswar2018-09-25
5.051Prasanth Singh KanhiyaDEL2000-02-14DelSC-U20 New Delhi2019-08-05
51Eldo M AKER1968-07-20ONACNew Delhi1990-07-21
53Rambeer Singh SainiRAJ1996-06-30Int-SerPune2019-09-09
4.951Prabhjyot SinghHAR1972ONACJamshedpur1995-01-25
4.953Anoop C BKER1990-03-02ISACGuwahati2018-06-27
4.953Anas Babu E BKER1995-10-09ONACBhubaneswar2018-09-25
4.954Madhan Kumar RTN1994-09-04ONACBhubaneswar2018-09-25
4.955Pradhyumn NarbarUP1994-08-01ONACBhubaneswar2018-09-25
4.91Jitendra Kumar SinghUP1981-08-05NatGHyderabad2002-12-19
4.91Parveen KumarHARISACJamshedpur2003-09-05
4.91Naveen KumarHAR1983-11-05FedCupKolkata2007-05-12
4.92Natarajan VadiveluTN1987-06-10FedCupRanchi2010-05-04
4.91Bineesh JacobKER1986-03-17Bengaluru2012-01-29
4.97Balakrishna PKAN1990-03-23AsiChPune2013-07-03
4.92Sonu Saini KHAR1993-07-19Int-UnivPatiala2016-01-02
4.91Gyanendra Singh KunwarUP1997-06-30UPSCAllahabad2016-04-21
4.93Krishna Prasath VTN1991-09-30FedCupPatiala2017-06-01
4.91Rakesh GondUP2001-04-01NYCVadodara2018-07-21
4.93Shekhar Kumar PandeyDEL2001-02-01NJC-U20Mangalagiri2019-11-04
4.852Shamsher SinghHAR1981FedCupHyderabad2003-07-30
4.853Dhirendra KumarUP1999-08-28ONACLucknow2016-09-29
4.853Ranjith ATN1996-05-13Int-SerJalahalli2017-08-23
4.83Ramdhari SinghDEL1975-03-10ONACBengaluru2003-09-28
4.82Ramiah Ranjith KumarTN1979-09-26FedCupNew Delhi2005-06-02
4.82Vijender KumarHAR1983-10-04FedCupKolkata2007-05-12
4.81Sunder SinghPUN1987-07-14PoliceLucknow2009-02-11
4.84Shaji AjimonKER1985-03-01FedCupRanchi2010-05-04
4.81Parmender Kumar PatelUP1993-01-01NJC-U20Ranchi2011-11-03
4.8DecathlonDaya Ram GurjarRAJ1985-07-05ONACKolkata2015-09-17
4.81Thanga Vasanth MTN1993-06-18AL MeetChennai2016-12-14
4.87Udayakumar GokulnathTN1997-02-15FedCupPatiala2017-06-01
4.84Ebin SunnyKER1994-10-20Int-SerJalahalli2017-08-23
4.88Dharmaraj TTN1993-11-24ONACChennai2017-09-27
4.87Parveen Kumar SinghPUN1992-10-10ISACGuwahati2018-06-27
4.81Deepak YadavMAH2002-06-06Khelo-U17New Delhi2019-01-12
4.81Sidharth A KKER2000-08-27JFCTiruvannamalai2019-09-26
4.751Sunder Singh TanwarBIH1961-03-06TrialsPatiala1983-09-14
4.751Manish SinghDEL1999-07-12Int-UnivMoodbidri2018-11-27
4.71Mukesh Kumar TanwarBIH1974FedCupKolkata1995-08-18
4.71Satpal Singh SainiPUN1972-06-05ONACKolkata1996-12-15
4.71Subhash Chander YadavUPNew Delhi2003-12-11
4.73Sunil Kumar(Ser)1990-02-12Int-SerHyderabad2015-07-21
4.75Vinay Kumar SinghRAJ1989-09-17Int-SerHyderabad2015-07-21
4.71Sundar SunilHAR1992-04-10PoliceThiruvananthapuram2015-09-08
4.73Nijil JacksonKER1993-04-29Int-SerHindan2016-09-01
4.79Gurmeet SinghPUN1992-11-14FedCupPatiala2017-06-01
4.710Geetesh SainiHAR1995-04-23ONACChennai2017-09-27
4.72Santhosh Kumar MTN1998-11-15Int-UnivMoodbidri2018-11-27
4.651Mukesh MTN1985-05-21Thiruvananthapuram2010-02-21
4.6511SombirDEL1994-11-25ONACBhubaneswar2018-09-25
4.611Aswin SKER1998-10-07NSC-U19Pune2017-01-06
4.61Rajender Kumar(HE)1956-06-16ONACNew Delhi1982-09-17
4.62Prakesh C. TyagiDELISACGandhinagar1991-03-10
4.64Ronel DeorahASMNatGPune1994-01-19
4.61Abdul Rashid(Rly)Int-RlyChennai1999-09-08
4.62Jagbir Singh(Rly)Bengaluru2001-07-04
4.63Ram DhanKANISACLucknow2001-09-19
4.63Sher SinghPUNNGLudhiana2001-11-22
4.66Karambir SinghONACNew Delhi2002-09-09
4.65Aneesh K KKANONACBengaluru2003-09-28
4.61Jayakumar P PKER1979-01-26Hyderabad2004-04-15
4.68Rampal SinghHAR1982-02-20FedCupNew Delhi2005-06-02
4.67Vijay VargheseKER1984-05-20ONACHyderabad2005-11-09
4.64Milber Bertrand RusselTNONACNew Delhi2006-10-07
4.62Satpal SinghPUN1978-06-03PoliceLucknow2009-02-11
4.68Sanjeev KumarBIH1986-06-01FedCupRanchi2010-05-04
4.66Boobalan KTNISACPatiala2010-08-07
4.61Sanjay Singh(Ser)1990-01-07Int-SerHyderabadAug-2012
4.62Vishnu UnniKER1994-09-09NSC-U19Etawah2013-01-30
4.61Shiv Kumar(Ser)Int-SerHyderabad2013-08-12
4.62Jibin Varghese Kumar(Ser)1991-02-15Int-SerHyderabad2013-08-12
4.62Deep ChandPUN1994-06-05Int-UnivPatiala2013-12-27
4.62Linesh KrishnanKER1992-01-07Int-SerHyderabadAug-2014
4.65Gowtham PTN1998TNSCChennai2016-06-04
4.61Aniket Kumar PatelUP1997-11-25JFCLucknow2017-06-12
4.64Dheenadayalan GTNTNSCTiruchirapalli2019-06-22
4.55Mohinder SinghHARBad Blankenburg, GERJul-1982
4.552Elango STN1988-02-01TNSCMadurai2013-04-06
4.552 DecathlonMadhusudan YadavUP1996-02-15UPSCObra2017-05-07
4.553Akshay ChaudharyMANI2002-07-01JFCTiruvannamalai2019-09-26
4.552GouravHAR2002-02-20NJC-U18Mangalagiri2019-11-02

Compiled by Ram Murali Krishnan

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