World record holder Kevin Mayer triumphs in Ultimate Garden Clash

Kevin Mayer of France reacts in the Men's Decathlon Shot Put during the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)
Kevin Mayer of France reacts in the Men's Decathlon Shot Put during the 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

The world's leading decathletes faced off in a virtual competition on Sunday

World decathlon record-holder Kevin Mayer has won the Ultimate Garden Clash - Combined Events on Sunday 7 June.

"I was stressed all day like I was before a big championship. Especially since we'd never done this before, it was a total unknown," he told AFP.

The competition featured the Frenchman, reigning world champion Niklas Kaul (Germany) and world silver medallist Maicel Uibo (Estonia) competing remotely in a modified triathlon-format starting with pole vault before shot put and finally a shuttle-run.

In the pole vault, the trio would attempt to clear 4m as many times as possible in a 10-minute period while shot put had the same time frame but the decathletes were challenged to go beyond 12m. The athletes concluded proceedings with a gruelling shuttle run which saw two cones placed 20m apart with a point rewarded for every back-and-forth lap completed during a five-minute period.

Despite his delay in starting, Mayer quickly made up for the 25 seconds he missed in the pole vault, completing 17 jumps over the 4m bar to go ahead in the standings.

The 28-year-old, firmly put himself in the driver's seat for the shot portion of the competition as he produced 28 throws over the 12m line - compared to 22 for Kaul and 20 for Uibo - which gave him a nine-point lead.

The shuttle run saw the trio fairly equal for the first four minutes until Kaul, who has the fastest 1500m time of the three, take the lead to eventually win with 27 laps - just one better than both Mayer and Uibo.

"In the shot put I think I made the difference because my personal best is 17 (metres) so it was easy for me to throw 13 every time and I got in a rhythm that felt good," Mayer said.

"I was really, really tired at the end but it was a good effort for me."

The triumph for Mayer comes after he was forced to withdraw from the final decathlon two events at the Athletics World Championships in October last year with injuries to his hamstring and Achilles tendon.