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Sergei Bubka
-Ukraine- PB 6.15 WR




Sergei Bubka was born and brought up in Lugansk. His father was a soldier and his mother a medical assistant. He commented that both of them were not active in sports. He had a ferocious competitive spirit which was channelled into multiple sports until he met the pole vault coach Vitaly Petrov. Bubka started pole vaulting at the age of 10. In 1978 at an age of 15, Bubka moved to Donetsk, Ukraine with his coach for better training facilities.

Bubka officially retired from his pole vault career in 2001

Pole Vaulting career

He entered athletics in 1981 participating in the European Junior Championships where he fetched a 7th place. But the 1983 World Championship held at Helsinki proved to be his actual entry point to the mainstream world athletics, where a relatively unknown Bubka snatched the gold clearing 5.70m (18 feet 8 inches). The years that followed witnessed the unparalleled dominance of Bubka on pole vaulting with him setting new records and standards in pole vaulting.

He set his first world record of 5.85m in 26 May, 1984 which he improved to 5.88m a week after and then to 5.90m a month after. He cleared 6.00 metres (19 feet 8 inches) on 13 July 1985 in Paris. This height had long been considered unattainable. With virtually no opponents, Bubka improved his own record over the next 10 years till he reached his career best and the current world record of 6.14m in 1994.

He was the first and only (as of May, 2006) athlete ever to jump over 6.10 metres in San Sebastian, Spain in 1991. He set the current world record of 6.14 metres in 1994 after some commentators had already predicted the decline of the great sportsman.

World record progression by Bubka

Bubka broke the world record for men's pole vaulting a total of 35 times in his career. He broke the outdoor world records 17 times and the indoor world records 18 times. The fact that most of the time he improved his own previous record proves the absolute dominance of Bubka in the event.

Height in metres Date Place
6.1431 Jul 1994Sestriere
6.1319 Sep 1992Tokyo
6.1230 Aug 1992Padova
6.1113 Jun 1992Dijon
6.1005 Aug 1991Malmoe
6.0908 Jul 1991Formia
6.0809 Jun 1991Moscow
6.0706 May 1991Shizuoka
6.0610 Jul 1988Nice
6.0509 Jun 1988Bratislava
6.0323 Jun 1987Prague
6.0108 Jun 1986Moscow
6.0013 Jun 1985Paris
5.9431 Aug 1984Rome
5.9013 Jul 1984London
5.8802 Jun 1984Paris
5.8526 May 1984Bratislava


Height in metres Date Place
6.1521 Feb 1993Donetsk
6.1413 Feb 1993Lievin
6.1322 Feb 1992Berlin
6.1223 Feb 1991Grenoble
6.1119 Mar 1991Donetsk
6.1015 Mar 1991San Sebastian
6.089 Feb 1991Volgograd
6.0517 Mar 1990Donetsk
6.0311 Feb 1989Osaka
5.9717 Mar 1987Torino
5.9615 Jan 1987Osaka
5.9528 Feb 1986New York
5.9421 Feb 1986Inglewood
5.928 Feb 1986Moskva
5.8715 Jan 1986Osaka
5.8310 Feb 1984Inglewood
5.821 Feb 1984Milano
5.8115 Jan 1984Vilnius

611 - 13.07.92 Dijon/FRA