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Rediff.com  » Sports » I'm lucky to win one gold medal: Bubka

I'm lucky to win one gold medal: Bubka

Last updated on: March 19, 2010 00:08 IST

Legendary pole vaulter Sergey Bubka reckons the 6.14m mark he set way back in 1994 still remains uneclipsed because his successors are not technically equipped enough.

"It is better to ask athletes who are still competing, why they cannot jump higher. But I think it has to do with their technique," the six consecutive IAAF World Champion told PTI during the Laureus sports award in Abu Dhabi recently.

Sergei Bubka"It is technique that can allow them to jump 6.20, 6.30 and go to another level. I think this (technique) is the main reason why they came close but could not better the mark," he explained.

The Ukrainian legend, who broke the world record for men's pole vault 35 times -- 17 outdoor and 18 indoor -- has only one Olympics gold and the maestro said he wanted to have more.

"I'm lucky to win one gold medal. Of course, in some way, I missed 1984 because of boycott. It could have been a good chance. Another time I was injured. I tried to be back but didn't succeed.

"Olympics is Olympics, it is the most powerful and popular event. I wanted to have more but perhaps I deserved only one," Bubka said.

Though he had complete dominance on pole vaulting at his time, he was highly unlucky in the Olympic Games.

The first Olympics after his introduction into international athletics was in 1984, which was boycotted by the USSR.

Two months before the games, Bubka vaulted 12 cm higher than the eventual Olympic gold medal winner Pierre Quinon.

In 1988, Bubka entered the Seoul Olympics and won his only Olympic gold but in 1992 he failed to clear in his first three attempts and was out of the Barcelona Olympics.

A heel injury spoilt his Atlanta Olympics in 1996 as he was forced to withdraw from the competition without making even a single jump and in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Bubka was eliminated from the final after three attempts at 5.70 m.

The strapping vaulter officially retired in 2001. 

Asked whom he considers to be the best among the current vaulters, Bubka said, "Today most impressive are the female pole vaulters because we don't have stronger leader in men.

Last year's Steve Hooker was in leading position in Olympics but the most impressive is Yelena Isinbayeva."     

Bubka won his first gold in the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, clearing 5.70 metres and then went on to win five successive golds in pole vaulting in World Championship till 1997 in Athens.

Until the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in late 1991, Bubka competed for Soviet teams and later represented Ukraine.

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