?Rev. Bradtke is
TRACK: LET US
It always makes me angry to see unjustified criticism of foreign athletes who
break records just because they're foreign. Your article on the illegal Russian
jumping shoe (SI, Sept. 9) is a case in point.
I do not recall
a similar article by your staff when Bud Held broke the World Javelin Record
with his illegal or yet to be declared legal "Held javelin."
jumpers have been using cushions inside and outside of their shoes for years,
including sponge-rubber soles indoors, to no avail. Harold Osborn used to be
accused of holding the bar on with his inside arm. Then they had to make diving
legal. Let us recognize the fact that a number of our track records are or have
been lousy for years. The 6-foot 11�-inch high jump record of Davis was not
much of a jump for a man nearly 6 feet 8 inches tall. Next Gutowski will be
accused of using a too springy pole, which we saw Sueo Ohe of Japan demonstrate
in Madison Square Garden in 1937. The pole doesn't make the pole vaulter.
Richards could probably make 15 feet with a modified clothes pole of sufficient
You may expect
some other startling track performances out of Russia in the future. With 200
million people to draw from, adequately motivated and scientifically trained,
the U.S. will not be able to keep pace. Track has become too much of a
political football in this country.
RICHARD V. GANSLEN, PH.D.
ILLUSTRATED, not yet born when the Rev. Held set his mark Aug. 8, 1953,
discussed in detail the still controversial new javelin in its June 6, 1955