The Decathlon World record holder, France Kevin Mayer showed on Sunday why he’s still the world record holder by producing a dominant display to win the triathlon challenge; in pole vault, shot put and 1500m.
Competing in Montpellier, France, Mayer, the decathlon world record-holder, took on world champion Niklas Kaul of Germany and world silver medallist Maicel Uibo of Estonia, who were competing from their training bases in Mainz, Germany, and Clermont, Florida, respectively.
Mayer, whose defence of his world title in Doha last year ended in tears when he was unable to complete a pole vault because of injury, finished as a clear winner at his training base in Montpellier with a score of 71 in an event that involved three athletes competing separately and connected through a live video feed.
Behind him was Niklaus Kaul, the German athlete who won the world title in his absence – becoming the youngest to do at the age of 21.
Based in Mainz, he totalled 63 after a late surge in the final discipline, where he put up the best performance.
Third place on 61 points went to the US-based Estonian Maicel Uibo – operating in 28C and high humidity in Clermont, Florida – who took silver behind Kaul in Doha.
“It was a little stressful since I knew I had great competitors out there,” Mayer said, adding that the key to his win came in the shot put.
“In the shot put I think I made the difference because my PB is 17 (metres) so it was easy for me to throw 13 every time and I got in a rhythm that felt good. I was really really tired at the end but it was a good effort for me.”
Kaul, who competed in an indoor facility, said he woke up feeling a little nervous knowing that he was returning to competition today.
“I was really happy that I could compete with the other guys because we haven’t been able to do that for the last three or four months.”
Uibo, who also faced 30 degree temperatures and high humidity, also enjoyed the competitive spirit, even if it was from a long distance.
“Obviously none of us had done something like this before, but it was a great thing to be able to come out on a Sunday and have a bit of fun.”
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “I am in total awe of these three athletes and be under no illusion – that was a lot tougher than they made it look. It was also great to have two legends of the decathlon sharing their insights. And just how good were those insights? My heartfelt thanks to all involved in bringing another Ultimate Garden Clash edition to our fans around the world.”