Vasily Kuznetsov, the handsome, relentless athlete shown on these pages, is the finest all-round track competitor in the world. Had it not been for a brief, torrential rain last Sunday in Philadelphia, he would almost surely have broken his own world decathlon record. A serious, sometimes nearly somber man, Kuznetsov submitted to a barrage of questions by a host of American reporters. Asked, finally, whether he resented this interrogation, Kuznetsov smiled a rare smile and said, "No. Why else would I compete?" Whatever his reasons, Kuznetsov competed remarkably well. He won five of the 10 events; the rain delayed the last three events so that he had to rush through the finish of the pole vault, then the javelin and the 1,500 meters, run on a soggy track. Yet Kuznetsov came within seven points of his own world record.
Determination shows as Kuznetsov hurtles down the runway for pole vault.
Calm assurance of a champion stamps Vasily's features after release of javelin.
Fierce grimace reflects Russian's all-out effort to win the discus competition.
Concentration marks Kuznetsov's victorious attempt in the decathlon shotput.