Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz of Poland won a marvelous and sometimes hostile pole vault competition, gave a rudely defiant gesture to the pro-Soviet crowd that had tried to rattle him with whistles or catcalls, then set a world record for an encore -- a fitting climax to a wild and eventful day on several fronts at the controverssial Moscow Olympics.
Kozakiewicz, an ebullient 26-year old whose Olympic dreams at Montreal four years ago ended prematurely with an injury, already had clinched the gold medal under unusually rancorous conditions when he decided to go for -- and achieved -- a world-record vault of 18 feet, 11 1/2 inches.
He still wasn't satisfied. As jubiliant Poles in the crowd of more than 100,000 spectators at Lenin Central Stadium sang, danced, waved flags and chanted a football cheer that means "One More," Kozakiewicz made up his mind to go for new frontiers: the first 19-foot vault.
He ordered the bar set at 19 feet 1 1/4 inches. He made three unsucessful but majestic attempts to clear that height, barely missing on the second.
Kozakiewicz's splendid victory in the uniquely nerve-wracking, exciting and acrimonious pole vault crapped a busy day that also saw these developments.
The International Olympic Committee acceded to the request of the U.S. government that the Stars and Stripes not be raised and the "Star Spangled Banner" not be played in closing ceremonies for the Olympic yachting competion at Tallinn, in the Baltic Republic of Estonia.
The International Amateur Athletic Federation put its own red-jacketed appeal jury of 19 officials on the infield at Lenin Stadium to supervise Soviet officials after growing charges of irregularities by hometown judges in track and field events.
Two more of the heroes of the 1976 Olympics -- Cuban runner Alberto Juantorena and Soviet weightlifter Vasily Alexeyev -- failed in their efforts to recreate golden moments and did not win medals in their events.
The Soviet men's basketball team, which had been heavily favored to win the gold medal with the United States out because of the 50-nation boycott over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, had to settle for bronze and was jeered by its home crowd. Yugoslavia took the gold, beating Italy in the final, 86-77.
Luiz Pizarro of Puerto Rico, who was the only remaining American not holding dual citizenship with an opportunity to win a medal at the boycott-riddled Games was eliminated from the boxing tournament, losing a decision to Cuban featherweight Adolfo Horta.
Englishmen Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe, the coholders of the world record in the 1,500 meters, were in good form in first-round heats for their showdown over that distance on Friday. However, Filbert Bayi of Tanzami -- who might have helped set the fast pace that Coe likes in the final -- dropped out of the 1,500 to concentrate on his efforts to win a gold medal in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Meanwhile, today's competition provided some poignant moments for old champions whose glory days are behind them, new champions eager to take their places, and one repeat gold medalist from the Montreal names; Barbel Wockel of East Germany.
As Barbel Eckhert, she won the women's 200-meter dash four years ago in 22.37 seconds. Today, having recovered from injuries that hampered her early this year and in the absence of American's top women sprinter, Evelyn Ashford, she won the gold again, lowering her Olympic record to 22.03 seconds.
The new champions included Vladimir Kisselyov, the first soviet man to win the shot put; Viktor Markin of the Soviet Union, whose time of 44.60 in the 400 meters was the fastest in the world this year, too swift for the surgically recycled Juantorena; Hartwig Gauder of East Germany, who won the 50-kilometer (31-mile) walk in an Olympic record of 3 hours 49 minutes 24 seconds and Sultan Rakhmanov of the Soviet Union, who won the superheavyweight lifting and succeeded his countryman Alexevey as the recognized "world's strongest man."
The old champions included Juantorena the 400 and 800 meter gold medalist of Montreal, who finished fourth in the 400; Alexeyev, the 38-year old giant who ingloriously failed three times to life 180 kilos (369 pounds in the snatch, and later announced his retirement, and Udo Beyer of East Germany, world record-holder and defending gold medalist in the shot put, who finished a dissappointing third and did not even wait until he left the stadium before ripping the bronze medal from around his neck and disgustedly shoving it into a pocket.
There was the Soviet men's basketball team, too, as downcast as the favored Soviet ice hockey team had been after losing the gold medal to a spirited team of American kids at Lake Placid, N.Y., in February.
The Soviet hoopsters were unbeaten on their home court since 1973 until they lost to Italy and Yugoslavia on successive nights last weekend. Today, only a sparse crowd showed up to watch the bronze medal game, and it taunted the Soviets mercilessly as they beat Spain, 117-94.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union won the women's basketball gold, routing Bulgaria, 104-73, and Yugoslav men's coach Ranko Zeravica called for a showdown game against the boycotting Americans after his team swamped overmatched Italy: "Let's see who's best," he said, knowing that the thrown gauntlet likely will not be picked up.
Kiselyov, 23, an outgoing, strawberry-thatched youngster who looks like an oversized Soviet version of Tom Sawyer, was surprised to win the shot on his last attempt, his personal career beat of 70 feet, 1/2 inch.
His teammate, Aleksandr Baryshnikov, won the silver medal with 69-2, and the redoubtable Bever, an overwhelming favorite, was third at 69 1/4, far below his world record of 72-8.
"I am the only one from my town (Myski, in the Russian Federated Republic) to make the national team, and it seemed like the whole population of 60,000 came to the train station to see me off," said the modest Kiselyov, delighted not to have let them down.
"I will learn from Udo Beyer and other athletes. I really don't know much about the shot put. I will improve my technique . . . I cannot believe I am the Olympic champion."
Markin -- whose time for the 400 was .24 faster than the year's previous best, by American Billy Mullins -- set a fast pace as he tore out of the starting blocks on the inside of the tracks, and along with Belgian Alfons Brijdenbach beside him in lane 2, made up the staggered start on Juantorena (Lane 3) in the first 100 meters of their race.
Markin muscled into the lead on the final turn, accelerating away from Brijdenbach and East Germany Frank Schaffer, who was moving on the outside, and opened up ground down the stretch. Australian Richard Mitchell finished second in 44.84, and Schaffer was third in 44.87.
In the weightlifting, Alexeyev did not go out so nobly. He had trained privately and secretively, as always, and Soviet spectators expected familiar miracles of strength from him. Instead, he could not execute a single lift and he left the stage to stunned silence.
Rrakhmanov, 30, who weighs 312 pounds, set an Olympic record by snatching 195 kilos (429 pounds), finished first in the jerk with a lift of 245 kilos (540.1 pounds) and won the combined with 440 kilos (968 pounds). Jergen Heuser of East Germany won the silver medal with a combined lift of 410 kilos (902 pounds), and Tadeusz Rutkowski of Poland won the bronze with a combined weight of 407.5 kilos (896.5 pounds).
Of all the day's dramatic, thrilling and emotional events, though, nothing could surpass the victory of Kozakiewicz in the bizarre and spectacular pole vault competition.
This was a physical and pyschologicalbattle of the first order between three Poles, tow Soviets and three Frechmen -- all of whom had sections of spectators wildly cheering and waving flags for them, and whistling to distract their opponents as they made their runs.
Twice, the public address announcers asked -- in Russian, French and English -- for quiet while the vaulters were competing. The request was ignored. In fact, the disgraceful attempts to unnerve the athletes grew in volume and ferocity until only Kozakiewicz remained in the competition, and turned it into a personal tour de force.
The vaulting started at 4:30 in the afternoon, in bright warm sunshine that had the competitors resting under four large orange parasols, between turns. It ended more than four hours later, in the blue tint of 800 high-watt floodlamps that glow from four huge stanchions at Lenin Stadium.
Kozakiewicz -- a physical education teacher from the Baltic port of Gdynia who has four times been ranked No. 1 in the world -- didn't make his first vault until the bar reached 5:35 meters (17-6 3/4) and was flawless at 18-0 1/2, 18-6 1/2, 18-8 1/2 and 18-10 1/2.
One by one, his rivals fell away -- Sergei Kulibaba of the U.S.S.R., Thierry Vigneron of France (who held the world record from June 1 to July 17), Mariusz Klimezyk of Poland, Jean-Michel France, Phillipe Houvion of France (who set the world record on July 17), two days before the start of the Olympics), Tadeusz Slusarski of Poland.
Six men in all broke the previous Olympic record of 18-0 1/2, but finally there were only two left: Kozakiewicz and Konstantin Volkov, a tough Soviet with a baby's rosy-cheeked complexion. He missed twice at 18-6 1/2, and decided to pass his third attempt at that height and challenge Kozakiewicz at 18-10 1/2.
Kozakiewicz went first, and the whistles as he made his approach run were deafening . But he kept his concentration, sprang up and over the crossbar bounced off the mat, and came up giving the Soviet crowd the clenched fist-bent elbow gesture that is the European equivalent of the up-raised middle finger.
Then a huge smile spread across his face and he raised both arms in triumph as the Poles in the stands went crazy. Now it was their turn to whistle as Volkov made his one last attempt to stay in the running.
Vikov went up, and seemingly over, but he wobbled the bar with his right toe, and it finally fell. . .with agonizing tardiness. On the blue-cushioned mat below, Volkov rolled over, sprawled face down and pounded his fist in exasperation.
The medals were decided -- gold for Kozakiewicz, the silver shared by Volkov and Slusarski, who had both cleared 18-6 1/2 with fewer misses than Houvion -- but Kozakiewicz was not finished yet.
The Poles were chanting again: "One more, one more," the way they do after a goal in a soccer game. Kozakiewicz -- an affable, outgoing fellow with a headful of sandy curls and a bushy moustache -- may be the most popular athlete in Poland, and they wanted him to go for a world record.
He ordered the bar set at 5.78 meteres -- one centimeter more than Houvion's record. He just missed his first attempt, then gritted his teeth and tried again.
This time he just ticked the bar with his right thigh, but got his trailing hand out of the way. The bar stayed in place, and the stadium erupted. Kozakiewicz jumped to his feet, then tumbled, ridgid as a board, back onto the mat -- like a man with rigor mortis falling backward into a swimming pool or a dream.
After a few exultant moments of looking at the sky, he got up, embraced his teammates, then signaled for the bar to go to 5.82 meters -- the elusive 19 feet, plus 1 1/4 inch. His first and third attempts were not really close, but the second missed only by a hair, his elbow disloging the bar at the last instant.
Still Kozakiewicz was estatic. He had the gold that he hoped for in Montreal, but was denied by a leg injury on his first vault of the finals. He had triumphed over a crowd that had done its best to thwart him. He had the world record back, and from 18 feet, 11 1/2 inches up in the air.he was clearly on top of the Olympic world. . .troubled as that world may be.