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Quick, explosive and dramatic.
Each individual vault has been assigned its own start value, based on the vault's complexity.
During the pre-flight from the springboard to the horse, the gymnast must demonstrate a rise in the height of his body after pushing off of the horse, travel the minimum distance (2.5 m) and not deviate from the extended axis of the horse. The landing should be firm, without extra steps, and in line with the horse, springboard and runway.
The men's vault stands 135 cm tall. It is 35 cm wide by 160 cm long. The runway is 1 m wide and a maximum of 25m long.
A good vault is sometimes described as a "big" vault. The height, the distance of travel (even though bonus points are no longer awarded for exceptional distance), the overall acceleration into the vault, and the sudden impact of a no-step, suck
landing all create a good impression for the judges.
Everything happens very quickly, so the gymnast must stay intensely focused and be prepared for the ground when it's time to land. Vaulting requires speed, power and spatial awareness to perform high level vaults correctly.
Text taken from www.usa-gymnastics.org
Click on the British Gymnastics for further information