World and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi, won the women’s edition of the ‘Garden Pole Vault Challenge’.
With the temperature hovering around 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) in Athens, Stefanidi cleared a height of 4 meters (13 feet, 1-plus inches) a total of 34 times over a 30-minute span in a rare track and field competition held during the coronavirus pandemic. Two-time U.S. indoor winner Katie Nageotte cleared the bar 30 times from her training facility in Marietta, Georgia. Commonwealth Games champion Alysha Newman of Canada had 21 clearances in Bolton, Ontario, during their head-to-head-to-head showdown.
Stefanidi told World Athletics: “I had so much fun. I was very excited after the first half because I had 19. I thought I could take two fewer jumps in the second half and still match the guys’ winning score, but then I missed two jumps.”
“It was also so hot that my hands were sweating which made it difficult to get a good grip.”