Quai Antoine [Monaco], May 15 (ANI): In the second edition of the Ultimate Garden Clash, three of the world's best female pole vaulters-- Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi, two-time US indoor champion Katie Nageotte and Commonwealth Games champion Alysha Newman-- will face-off in a virtual competition from their respective home bases in Greece, the United States and Canada.
In the inaugural Ultimate Garden Clash two weeks ago, male pole vaulters Mondo Duplantis, Renaud Lavillenie and Sam Kendricks set the bar high by making a collective 98 clearances in 30 minutes, with Duplantis and Lavillenie tying for the win with 36 clearances each. The female trio believes they can match or better the men's tally.
Under a competition format devised by the male vaulters to get around the absence of officials due to coronavirus lockdowns and the need for social distancing, the winner will be the athlete who can clear the bar the most times.
The women have agreed to set the bar at 4.00m (world record is 5.06m) for their challenge. They will be connected by video link from their local training facilities as none of the women have the necessary equipment in their own gardens as the men did.
Stefanidi will compete in Athens, Nageotte in Marietta, Georgia, and Newman in Bolton, Ontario.
It will be a test of technique, consistency, concentration and stamina - all qualities that are required in a normal pole vault competition, just measured in an alternate way.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said he was delighted that the first Ultimate Garden Clash had proved to be a hit with athletes and fans.
"We know there's a real appetite among athletes and fans to return to competition but we need to do that in a way that is careful and respectful of the measures put in place by public health authorities around the world so we can keep our community safe, and modern technology has allowed us to do that," he said.
"This is a concept that we hope can be adopted or adapted by some of our Area Associations and Member Federations around the world to help their athletes get a feel for competition again until they can return to more normal meetings, which we hope can happen later in the year," Coe added. (ANI)