Sergei Bubka, the outspoken Soviet pole vaulter, backed up his words tonight when he soared to an indoor world best of 19-5 3/4 in the Los Angeles Times Indoor Games, beating Billy Olson head-to-head and bettering by a quarter-inch the record Olson set two weeks ago.
Bubka, who had questioned Olson's skills at a press conference this week, opened at 18-6 1/2, making it easily, and cleared 19-2 1/4 on his first attempt at that height tonight as he missed just once, on his initial attempt at 19-5 3/4.
Olson struggled early, failing to clear 18-4 1/2 until his third try. Then he cleared 18-10 1/4 on his second vault.
Olson passed on 19-2 1/4, so the bar was raised to 19-5 3/4; he missed twice. After Bubka cleared that mark, Olson had the bar raised to 19-6 1/2 for his final, unsuccessful jump.
Long jumper Jackie Joyner established a U.S. record, Diane Dixon ran the women's fastest 500 yards ever indoors and Jeannette Bolden tied a world mark in the 60-yard dash earlier in the evening.
Joyner, 23, leaped 22 feet 5 inches (6.83 meters) in the second round to beat the U.S. indoor mark of 22-3 set by Carol Lewis on Feb. 2, 1985 in Dallas.
Dixon was timed in 1 minute 2.29 seconds and just beat Delisa Walton-Flood, whose 1:02.34 clocking also beat the 1:02.3 mark set by Valerie Brisco-Hooks a year ago.
Bolden tied the indoor standard of 6.54 set by Evelyn Ashford on Feb. 26, 1982 in New York.
Galina Chistyakova of the Soviet Union won the women's triple jump, going 44-0 3/4.
In other early action, Greg Foster won the 60-yard hurdles with a 6.85 effort -- the world's third-fastest time -- and Emmit King won the 60-yard dash in 6.09.