Mayer, Kaul and Uibo to square off in a virtual combined events competition

Niklas Kaul
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Niklas Kaul won gold medals at the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships and IAAF World Athletics Championships last season

The Ultimate Garden Clash series continues on Sunday 7 June with a trans-continental meeting featuring three of Europe’s finest combined eventers.

World decathlon record-holder Kevin Mayer, reigning world champion Niklas Kaul and world decathlon silver medallist Maicel Uibo will square off from their training bases in Montpellier, France, Mainz, Germany, and Clermont, Florida, in a unique virtual triathlon that combines strength, speed and stamina.

The competition will begin with the pole vault where the athletes will attempt to clear 4.00m as many times as possible during a 10-minute period. They'll then move on to the shot put where the challenge is to send the 7.26kg iron ball beyond a 12-metre line as often as possible, again during a 10-minute period.

The triathlon concludes with a shuttle run competition in which two cones are placed 20 metres apart, with the athletes collecting points for each completed back and forth shuttle over the course of five minutes. The points scored in each event will be tallied to crown the overall winner.

The hour-long event gets underway at 5pm CEST (weather permitting) and will be broadcast live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, Twitter feed and Facebook page.

“The format will be a little demanding, because we are not used to the [endurance aspect] of it," said Mayer. "We are ‘sprinters’, endurance is harder for us. I don’t know how it is going to be, but I think Niklas will be good at that and we’ll have to fight against him."

Kaul, however, disputes the idea he is the favourite out of the triumvirate. “I don’t think I am the man to beat,” he said, “The pole vault is going to be hard, I’ve only had one pole vault session in the last three months, so we’ll see what happens there. I think the last event is going to be hard for all of us, because usually we run a 1500m which is four to five minutes, evenly paced, just running, but this time we have to stop and go again. So I think it will be harder than a 1500m.”

Uibo said: “I guess I’m a bit of an underdog, so I’ll just have to put the target on their backs and chase them down.

“I guess we’re doing something similar to our ‘everyday jobs’ and run, jump and throw, but this has got a bit of a twist, so it’s interesting for all of us trying to get as many reps in in 10 [and 5] minutes as we can and I really think it will be fun. I don’t really know what to expect from it, but just like Niklas, I haven’t really vaulted, I haven’t thrown the shot in the last three months, so it will be really interesting to see.”

World Athletics