ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Pole vaulter Rodion Gataullin of the Soviet Union said Tuesday that he felt confident he could give teammate Sergei Bubka, the world record holder, ″good and interesting competition″ at an international indoor track and field meet Wednesday.
It will be the first time this year that the two Soviet vaulters meet head on. The two men have traded world records all winter, with Bubka setting the most recent world mark with a vault of 19 feet, 9 inches on Jan. 29.
″I got the record and then 10 days later Bubka took it away,″ Gataullin told reporters.
Gataullin raised the record to 19-8 1/4 on Jan. 9 and upped it to 19-9 almost two weeks later before Bubka, who has raised the record 10 times since 1984, increased it again.
″The conditions are very good for Bubka because the World Championships were the peak for me, but here I will be competing with him and I hope it will be a good and interesting competition,″ he added.
Greek newspapers reported that Bubka was being given $15,000 to take part in the meet with an extra $10,000 if he sets a record.
Organized by the Greek Amateur Athletics Federation, the International Indoor Athletics meeting features many of the athletes that took part in the World Indoor Track and Field Championships held in Budapest last weekend.
Bubka did not take part in that competition and Gataullin matched his meet record of 19-2 1/4 , set in Indianapolis in 1987, and took the gold medal.
Among the contenders for a medal are American Roger Kingdom, who has the best time this year in the 60-meter hurdles and Jamaican sprinter Marlene Ottey, who holds the world’s best time this year in the 200 meters.
A showdown also is expected to emerge between two of the world’s top shot putters, East Germany’s Ulf Timmermann and Randy Barnes of the United States.
Timmermann easily beat Barnes, the world record holder, in Budapest.
″I just found out Timmermann was going to be here and I hope to have a good one against him,″ said Barnes, from Charleston, W. Va.
Two former high jump world record holders are also squaring off for Wednesday’s competition, Sweden’s Patrik Sjoeberg and West Germany’s Carlo Thranhardt.
Both men were beaten by Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor in Budapest with a leap of 7-11 1/2 . Sotomayor is not taking part in the competition.
The women’s high jump features Bulgaria’s Stefka Kostandinova, who holds the world mark of 6-9.