SI Vault
 
OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Roy Blount Jr.
April 24, 1972
On successive weekends, Vaulter Kjell Isaksson exceeded a world record that had lasted 18 months
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April 24, 1972

Over And Over Again

On successive weekends, Vaulter Kjell Isaksson exceeded a world record that had lasted 18 months

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When he is asked whether he was excited, Isaksson says, "A little," because he wasn't sure he would make it, on account of the pull in his back. Three different officials go up the quivering ladder to verify the measurement. "I wouldn't go up there if you took my picture," says a fourth. Isaksson signs autographs and answers reporters' questions.

"What is the most important thing in pole vaulting?"

"Speed."

"What is your time in the 100 with the pole?"

"I have never done it," he answers.

"Is it true what Railsback said about not feeling the good ones?"

"The last three or four steps, I don't know anything. When I make a good jump, I don't know what I am doing."

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