It's unclear what exactly is going on here. There seem to be plenty of spectators and official timing equipment, implying a track meet, and cheering, indicating competition. But there is no such thing as a pole vault relay.
Cuba Lazaro Borges finished second in the world at last year's championships. But when he cleared 5.90 in South Korea, presumably he did it with a pole that didn't snap into three pieces underneath him.
The BBC spent some time in Jonesboro, Ark., where 1984 Olympian and USATF hall of famer Earl Bell runs the training program that produced two-thirds of America's pole vaulters in London. Another familiar face around the facility is Earl's father William, who just turned 90, and can still soar with the best of them.
And they've been doing it every year but one since 2008. As silly as it looks to see a world-class event taking place as some teenage girl exits The Limited before she makes a stop at Old Navy and heads over to the food court, there's actually something to be said for this.
In pole vaulting, the eponymous pole is designed to bend, not break. Sometimes it does both. At the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Russian pole vaulter Dmitry Starodubtsev was attempting 5.75 meters — roughly six inches off the eventual winning height — when his pole snapped like a strand of…