Pole vault pair share the spoils in garden challenge

Renaud Lavillenie opted to share victory with Armand Duplantis rather than head to a tie-break in pole vaulting’s ‘Ultimate Garden Clash’ – the latest innovation in at-home sporting entertainment.

Former Olympic gold medallist Lavillenie, world record holder Duplantis and reigning world champion Sam Kendricks signed up for the three-way challenge set up by World Athletics in a bid to fill the vacuum of elite competition.

The trio had two 15-minute rounds, split by a five-minute break, to clear a five-metre bar as many times as possible in their own gardens, with Lavillenie and Duplantis both level on 36 clearances.

The Ultimate Garden Clash – Pole Vault Edition
The Ultimate Garden Clash – Pole Vault Edition

Kendricks boasted the only 100 per cent record but was left behind on 26.

The idea of a three-minute ‘jump off’ was mooted to break the tie but Lavillenie, jumping at home in Clermont-Ferrand, was offered the chance to decide having completed his final effort marginally quicker.

Visibly exhausted he opted to split the honour with his rival, noting with a smile: “We can share it, but I am the first winner and Mondo (Duplantis) is the second winner!”

Louisiana-based Duplantis, the younger man by 13 years, was eager to go again but ultimately accepted his share of the spoils, adding “let’s share more sport like this, it’s fun.”