Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson(FOUND)

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joebro391
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Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson(FOUND)

Unread postby joebro391 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:08 pm

hey guys, I've recently heard stories about a swedish vaulter, named shell isacksen (no clue on the spelling). he vaulted in the 70's, went about 18'4-ish, and stood 5'7 140lbs and vaulted on a 16' 190 (or there abouts). if anyone has any info on him (stats, video, pictures), i'd be very thankful. -Joe
Last edited by joebro391 on Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Looking for old footage/information (shell isacksen)??

Unread postby joebro391 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:12 pm

hey everybody, sorry, but i was totally off in the spelling. i found out his name is 'kjell isaksson' and apparently there's a "historical" thread, that i should put this post in. sorry for the mistake, and thanks to PP for the name. -Joe
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Re: Looking for old footage/information (shell isacksen)??

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:42 pm

joebro391 wrote: ... his name is 'kjell isaksson' ...

That's the correct spelling, but on PVP you should also search for "isaakson". I'm sorry, but I think I'm the one that originally mispelt his name - going from memory from when I watched him in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Google automatically corrects this spelling to "Isaksson".

He was quite the vaulter back in my day! Ranked #1 indoors in 1971-72 and outdoors in 1971 ... ranked #2 outdoors in 1972 ... set 8 WRs in 1970-72 indoors and out ... was on the cover of T&F News in 1971-72 a record 17 times ... the first vaulter to use the high pole carry ... possibly the first fiberglass vaulter to use a free takeoff (not sure about that one - we need to see his vids) ... cleared 5.20 or better in every year from 1968 to 1987 (20 years in a row!) ... and then again in 1989 ...

I too would be VERY interested in seeing any vids that anyone might find of him vaulting.

Source: "Who's Who in Pole Vaulting III" - by Gerard Dumas.

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Re: Looking for old footage/information (shell isacksen)??

Unread postby joebro391 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:22 pm

Thanks for the info kirk. I searched him, on PVP and found your posts about his high carry. I'd love to see some footage of him. My coach vaulted with him and knows him, very well, said he was one of the fastest guys he's ever seen.

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:11 pm

6P, who's your coach?

Kjell spent quite a bit of time in California back then, and traveled across North America on the indoor circuit. I'm guessing your coach is from California?

Since he was on the cover of T&F News 17 times, there's probably quite a few write-ups in there about him. I have a few of them (in storage), but not all of them.

But what we REALLY want to see are some VIDS!

I forgot to mention in my previous post that when he cleared 5.21 in 1989, it was a new Masters WR. He was 41 at the time. Born: 28.02.1948.

Although we have yet to see video proof that he had a free takeoff ... despite his short stature ... he was an excellent high jumper ... before the Fosbury Flop and Brill Bend became popular. He was also a very accomplished gymnast before he turned to the PV.

What I do remember about him ... but please realize that it was 38 years ago, and I only saw him live a couple times ... was that he was extremely quick down the runway ... and his swing to an extension was very, very quick and fluid ... one continuous motion ... no pauses or passive points in his vault at all. Probably very close to what Agapit was referring to in the 640 model.

From what I've seen of other modern vaulters, it seems improbable that he could have had this continuity of motion during his vault if he loaded the pole before takeoff. Furthermore, as a short ex high jumper, it would also be improbable that he didn't use his jumping ability on takeoff.

It was amazing to everyone back then that he was so short yet vaulted so high. We attributed it to a combination of his speed, jumping, and gymnastic ability ... other than obviously being a short man in a tall man's game, he was considered the "perfect" combination of sprinter, jumper, and gymnast ... not unlike Bubka is considered today. Remember that this was BEFORE Petrov came along and developed the Petrov Model.

To my knowledge, Isaksson was self-coached. He did have a teammate ... Hans Lagerquist ... that he traveled the circuit with ... and I think they helped each other out ... but I don't think you could call them each others' coaches. I think they just caught each others' steps, and trained together.

No one back then talked about a "free takeoff". We did talk about "being under" or "being on" or "being out", which loosely translates in today's terminology to "loading the pole before takeoff", "free takeoff", and "pre-jump". But notice the negative connotation of our term "being under". It was NOT an intentional takeoff position for anyone that I'm aware of.

Speedsters like Jan Johnson and Bruce Simpson MIGHT have intentionally been under on takeoff ... I'm not sure about them. But we didn't really consider that "good technique". Instead, we considered it a flaw that they could get away with due to their superb speed down the runway. JJ and Bruce may have more to say about this, and I will stand corrected if they saw this differently than myself. I caught Bruce's step once in awhile, and I just don't remember it being purposely under his top hand ... but I know he had jumps where it ended up being under.

Also in support of my educated opinion about Isaksson's technique, I had never seen anyone load the pole before takeoff BY INTENT until about 5 years ago. So if he had done that back then, I surely would have noticed.

My conclusion ... yet to be proven by seeing videos ... is that he MUST have had a free takeoff.

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby draglineman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:47 am

I watched him do 18`1" in Austin....he was so smooth it ...it was poetry in motion....( dates me eh? )

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby joebro391 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:30 pm

yea, my favorite are the shorty's (undergods) haha.

And my current coach is Al Berardi. One of the greatest coaches I've ever worked with. He can see the vault, as if it were in slow-motion and tell you everything about it {nods}
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Re: Looking for old footage/information (shell isacksen)??

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:49 am

KirkB wrote: ... Isaksson ... was on the cover of T&F News in 1971-72 a record 17 times ...

Source: "Who's Who in Pole Vaulting III" - by Gerard Dumas.

I thought 17 was a rather high number, since T&FN is only published 18 times a year ... at most ... so I did a little research and found out that he was on the cover FOUR times ... one of which was shared with Seagren.

I guess Dumas was a bit off ... just a LITTLE ... on his cover count! :confused:

In comparison, Bubka made 5 covers, Seagren 6, and Pennel 6.

6P, I googled your coach, and read that he trained for the Olympic Trials in California, so that must have been in 1972 or 1976 ... when he trained with Isaksson?

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby dj » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:21 am

hey

bruce did not try or want to be "under".. his greatest fear was being "under" and getting his shoulder "yanked" out of socket.. that is why i had a hard time keeping his run "close' at the "MID"... so every time i tried to move him closer when he stretched and took off under.. he would fight me.. but when i finally showed him that moving closer, and not over striding but quicken up.. would actually move his take off "OUT" he started to jump his best..

being under and getting “yanked” was also one of the reason vaulters would not carry the pole high on the run. They though they could never have an early plant with a high carry.. once the idea was out there that a proper “lowering” or dropping (32 feet per second square) could solve the problem some starting trying it…

the idea that we used back in that time ..and for me it started with Earl in 1974,and included all the vaulters at Florida + Dave Roberts... and continued with Tully and anyone i worked with........was you wanted to take off 4 inches out.. Jan Johnson, greg hull, bill webb and i discussed this in our basement dorm room at 3 am in Knoxville in 1983 at the USATF champs where Andji was a guest speaker...

here was the "agreed" thought.. "you should takeoff like a long jumper/triple jumper.. with the pole as high as you can reach and the take off 4 inches out." Then you will have pole speed and be able to grip over 16 feet… and Jan said "Howard you better have ba//s as big as coconuts." we had a couple of drills to emphasize the point.. and i have occasionally seen Jan tell his campers to hold the pole 4 inches away from the back of the box on the "tower", ladder, scaffling vaulting he does so they had that "feeling" of "slipping' before the butt plug hit the back of the box and the swing started...

Tully actually "thought" swing before the tip would hit and "before' he left the ground...

dj

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby stavhoppare » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:29 pm

I first met Kjell in Sweden in 1967. I had a good series of meets with the USA Team in Europe; 2nd vs. Britain, 1st vs. Germany, 1st vs. Italy & Spain. Invited to compete by Swedish meet directors along with Ed Burke, Randy Matson and Ralph Boston....Ralph was my roomie as Ed and Randy had their wives along. Malmo, Stockholm, Gavle, Skovde; lots of fun, great competition.......and met my future wife in Gavle.

I had met Hans Lagerqvist (Hasse) and John Erik Bloomqvist when they were training in LA at LA State. John Erik competed for Ron Morris at CSLA I believe. We had some good times and set up a lasting friendship through the PV. I remember a young, small vaulter would show up at each meet (I competed in Sweden from 1968 through 1971) and I watched him progress. His mother was his coach...she was a gymnastics teacher I believe. I thought "what a great plant and takeoff.....too bad he is so small!!! Well, that was Kjell.

In thinking about the PV, I feel there have been a few monumental occurances from the early sixties:
1. Fiberglass poles
2. Foam pits and Tartan Runways
3. KJELL ISACKSONS PLANT AND TAKEOFF
4. BUBKA

To me that is the modern progression of the pole vault. I personally think that Kjell and Sergey are the two most technically influential vaulters in the fiberglass era.

After each meet in Sweden, Kjell would get on the train...go back to Sundby (Stockholm), train with his Mom.....get on the train...go to the next meet....and jump 4.50, 4.60, etc. He didn't jump high but he looked great doing it.

While competing at UCLA, Kjell and Hasse would come and train with us. Hasse and I often shared our homes in Santa Monica and Solna, Sweden. It was at UCLA that Tom Tellez and I learned and understood the "coaches checkmark". Six steps out.....if you were on there you just about couldn't go wrong....if you did, it was the last few steps.

I know David Butler has quite a bit of video on Kjell...I sent him quite a bit a while back. He is the one to request it from. Fun to remember the good old days......den goda gamla dagar!
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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:03 pm

stavhoppare wrote:I first met Kjell in Sweden in 1967. I thought "what a great plant and takeoff.....too bad he is so small!!! Well, that was Kjell.

In thinking about the PV, I feel there have been a few monumental occurances from the early sixties:
1. Fiberglass poles
2. Foam pits and Tartan Runways
3. KJELL ISACKSONS PLANT AND TAKEOFF
4. BUBKA

To me that is the modern progression of the pole vault. I personally think that Kjell and Sergey are the two most technically influential vaulters in the fiberglass era.

I know David Butler has quite a bit of video on Kjell...I sent him quite a bit a while back. He is the one to request it from. Fun to remember the good old days...

Stavhoppare, I don't think we've ever met, but we have a mutual coach in Ken Shannon ... who came from UCLA to UW in 1968. We studied your film a lot, along with Jon Vaughn and Dick Sloan. It was the vid where Vaughn went 17-4, and you did 17+ something too. So did Sloan, as I recall Shannon saying that he was the first 7-0 HJ 17-0 PV athlete in the world! I'm sure you remember the film that I'm referring to ... on Super 8.

That would be great if we can find some vids of Kjell! I hope Dave Butler can find some and post them!

Can you verify whether Kjell's takeoff was free or not? As I said in an earlier post on this thread, I THINK it must have been free, but thus far, we have no vids to prove it. Altius may need to add another chapter to BTB2 if we find those vids! ;)

Was your takeoff free? About how far behind your top hand did you take off from? DJ pointed out (above) that Bruce Simpson didn't ever attempt to load the pole before takeoff, and I know that he was at UCLA when you were still training there. Can you recall anything about his takeoff. Of course we didn't refer to it as a "free takeoff" back then, but what was your INTENT?

And did you press at all with your bottom arm? From your vids, I don't recall that you did, and I'm quite sure that Vaughn didn't either (however, there's a chance that you may have been slightly influenced by Pennel in this regard). The first thing Coach Shannon did with me when I arrived at UW was to get rid of my bottom arm push ... 100%. And of course he used you UCLA guys as "the model".

But I'm interested in whether or not this went back even further ... perhaps to Kjell Isaksson (or while we're at it ... maybe Marc Savage ... if we trace back Shannon's and Tellez' athletes)? What tips did you, Vaughn, Sloan, Tellez, and Shannon pick up from what you all saw in Isaksson's technique? In addition to his plant and takeoff, were you not impressed by his high pole carry? Was he not the first? :confused:

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Re: Looking for old footage/information on kjell isaksson

Unread postby dj » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:56 pm

hello

thanks dick for your post... i knew you would have the best info on Kjell...

by the way i'm in Saudi again.. Dr. Mohammad Bahari is on the Federation board and is here in Jeddah where i'm located right now... haven't seen Rehan or Gazzi yet but Gazzi's son is a triple jumper...

i'm glad you mentioned the 6 stride mark.. i used it in the long jump... and Tully got it originally from Tellez ( who eventually went to the 4 step.. i really never understood why) Earl started using it either from Tully or I..

you points of progression are excellent... each one had an effect but all together they were monumental...

dj


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