Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 105 October, 1962

This issue of T&FNews contains minimal results from the United States. Track is over, the lights are out and everyone has gone home. Not so in Europe, however, as the glow of the European Championships is still in the air and a couple world records are waiting to be reported.
The highlight of the EC, held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia from Sept. 12-16, is the performance of Salvatore Morale. 
Salvatore Morale

Morale bracketed by Jay Luck and Billy Hardin at Tokyo 1964

The 24 year old Italian ties Glenn Davis' four year old world record in the 400 intermediate hurdles by destroying the field by over a second in 49.3.
The middle distances and distances are tactical races (the first lap of the 800 goes off in 56.9) and therefore produce disappointing times. The one exception is the performance of Belgium's Gaston Roelants in the steeplechase. 

Roelants no longer 25
The 25 year old leads from the start and crushes the field by five seconds in 8:32.6.
Ove Jonsson provides Sweden with its first European Championship sprint victory when he holds on to nip Marian Foik of Poland in the 200 in 20.7. Sadly, he doesn't enjoy this accomplishment very long. Thirteen days later he is dead, the result of an auto accident.

Ove Jonsson #64

A Pleased Brumel
Russia takes the team championship by dominating the field events. As expected, Valeriy Brumel and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan win their events. Brumel needs only four jumps to take the high jump at 7-3. One wonders whether he really needed to shower at the end of the day. Igor T-O is a man among boys in the broad jump, winning by over a foot with a wind-aided leap of 26-10½. But they are not the only Ruskies sporting gold medals when the bus heads home. Janis Lusis pops off a throw of 269-2 to win the javelin by over 13 feet while Vladimir Trusenyov is the class of the discus field with an effort of 187-4.
The Soviet Union isn't the only iron curtain country to do well. The Yugoslavians do okay, too. Vilmos (William, but you can call me Bill) Varku has five puts better than any of his shot put competitors, winning at 62-4¾, and Gyula Zsivotsky whirls the hammer 228-5½ to set a European record and send a message to Hal Connolly.
Ah, but the best competition is in the decathlon where the great Vasily Kuzneytzov wins his third European Championship. The story is not his win, but how it is achieved.
Willi Holdorf

Werner Von Moltke

Germamy's Willi Holdorf leads at the end of the first day with 4370 points, just 15 ahead of teammate Werner von Moltke. Kuznyetsov, a fierce second day man, is buried in sixth at 4161. In the first event of the second day, the hurdles, von Moltke takes the lead. Buoyed by a pole vault nearly a foot better than the Russian, von Multke holds a seemingly insurmountable lead of 328 points with only two events left.
Unfortunately for the German, the next event is Kuznyetsov's best, the javelin. Not lacking in fortitude, von Moltke fires off a PR of 184-3 only to see VK cut 284 points from his margin with a throw of 223-4. Now the lead is a mere 44 points with only the 1500 remaining.
No, we are not about to see a Johnson – Yang dual in which von Moltke has only to run off Kuznyetsov and finish within five seconds. Inexplicably, they run in different heats. Von Moltke runs 4:46.9 to finish with 8022 points, a PR by 307. Now the competition is out of his hands. All he can do is watch as VK toes the starting line, knowing that a 4:41.3 will relegate him to second. No splits are given, but it has to be agonizing for the German to watch the Russian kick home strongly to finish in 4:41.0 and take the gold by four points.
The alert among you may remember that Europe saw two world records in September. The second comes two weeks after the EC. On September 29th in Moscow, Valeriy Brumel attempts to break his own high jump record, a goal that doesn't look promising when he misses at 6-8¾, again at 6-11½ and twice at 7-3. But when the bar is raised to a new record height of 7-5½, a metric 2.27, he clears on his first attempt, his 12th jump of the competition. The 1962 reality is that in the high jump there is Brumel and then there is everybody else.

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