The pole vault is a mystifying sport in which an athlete runs down a runway with a pole,
plants the pole into a metal box in the ground, swings upside down with the hope of clearing a
bar, and lands on a soft pit. The bar is set on an apparatus called the standards, which have the
ability to be moved closer or farther away from the front of the pit.
Pole vaulting has been thefocus of physics analysis in order to understand how to create the most successful, efficient
vault. When pole vault was a new sport, people used bamboo and steel poles which greatly
decreased an individual’s ability to clear high bars. Today’s pole vaulters use carbon fiber and fiber glass poles which have significantly improved maximum potential heights that can be cleared. The world record clearance for men is 6.14 meters (20 feet 1.73 inches), and for womenis 5.06 meters (16 feet 7.22 inches) (IAAF Athletics).
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