World’s best pole vaulters return to unique competition Sunday

Mondo Duplantis
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Pole vault stars Mondo Duplantis, Sam Kendricks and Renaud Lavillenie return to competition on Sunday.

The Ultimate Garden Clash will pit the friendly rivals from their own separate backyards on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET, streaming live on World Athletics’ YouTube channel.

Duplantis, the world-record holder of Sweden, will jump from Lafayette, La. Kendricks, the world champion, from Oxford, Miss. Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic champion, from Clermont-Ferrand, France.

The unusual format: attempt to clear five meters as many times as possible within 30 minutes.

Normal pole vault competition, where athletes attempt to clear a maximum height, would be hard to pull off due to the need for officials to move up the bars and adjust standards.

World Athletics could hold similar competitions in future weeks.

Track and field’s premier circuit, the Diamond League, has postponed all meets through the first week of June.

A meet in Oslo on June 11 has been restructured, without spectators, with a limited number of athletes (at least one racing solo, chasing a record) under Norway’s coronavirus regulations.

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