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.
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.”