video: Bob Avant / John Thomas


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video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby jhc68 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:28 pm

Some pretty good video I hadn't seen before of Avant at his prime and John Thomas... if only Thomas could have maintained approach velocity he'd have jumped at Brumel's level. But then that's why Brumel was Brumel, eh?
Anyhow, this is good look at Avant's inimitable style.

http://www.efootage.com/stock-footage/77965/High_Jump_At_Amateur_Athletic_Union_Championships/
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby dukehjsteve » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:39 pm

Aah, the memories, the memories ! That clip has got to be from Randall's Island in 1961. I WAS THERE as a just-graduated high school senior Western Roller. After seeing Avant, I became a "Diver" for a year, then taught myself the Straddle as a college soph.
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby Per Andersen » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:09 pm

Thanks for the video. Avant was an extreme dive straddler. It's when I watch his way of jumping that I regret there is only the flop today. It's written in stone!

I think Thomas lacked more than take-off speed. Brumel had superior clearance technique. When Brumel approached bar height he had already twisted his upper body so that his right shoulder was close to the bar. His upper body is flat to the bar throughout the clearance.
Thomas' upper body is closer to sideways going into the bar with his right shoulder way higher than necessary.
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby kuha » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:44 pm

Yes, I'd certainly never seen that degree of "diving" before. Kind of surprised that was legal by the rules of the day...

Bob was such a fan favorite that he had a few people protecting him at all times: the Avant Garde. :oops:
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby no one » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:38 am

seems like Rory Kotinek had a similar style in early 70s (?)
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby dukehjsteve » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:15 pm

Thomas was a true groundbreaker, as he quite conveniently became the 1st guy who could consistently jump 7 feet, which has helped his legacy. But let's please remember that he had one very hot meet, the FOT in 1960, when he jumped 7' 2 1/2" and then 7' 3 3/4". After that, he never in the rest of his career jumped higher than 7' 2 1/4", and then he only had a few 7' 2"s. Yes, he got a 3rd in '60 OG and a weak 2nd ( winner Brumel was weak too) in '64 OG. But aside from that one "hot" FOT meet in 1960, he was the best for just a fleeting period of time. I'm no head doctor but IMHO he was never the same after Rome. I'm sorry to call him a 1 year wonder, but that's pretty much true. He lost most of 1959 with a foot injury, and from Rome onward, he was clearly not # 1 or close to it.
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Re: video: Bob Avant / John Thomas

Postby Per Andersen » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:17 pm

I agree. I'm no head doctor either but the Rome loss must have been devastating for Thomas. He was such an overwhelming favorite. Brumel had set a Euro record at 2.17 (7-1/1/2) before the Games but Thomas was way ahead of them all. I think Brumel and Thomas met about 10/11 times altogether and Thomas beat him only once , on misses, when Brumel had a toe injury.

However, I'll give Thomas 1959 , he was definitely the best in the world that year even if he only jumped indoors.

But Rome 1960 fundamentally changed the HJ. The Soviets showed clearly that the future of the HJ was about strength and speed.

It still amazes me how high Dumas was able to go with his ultra slow minimalist run-up.
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