Thousands of track and field fans from around the world watched live on YouTube and Facebook the Olympic champion, Stefanidi, clear 4.00m height 34 times in 30 minutes to prevail in the Ultimate Garden Clash. She did it under hot weather conditions - 39C which is over 100F.
Her rivals Katie Nageotte of the USA and Alysha Newman of Canada produced 30 and 21 clearances respectively.
Stefanidi, Nageotte and Newman were competing from their local training facilities in Greece, the United States and Canada.
“I had so much fun,” said Stefanidi. “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.
“This format that Renaud (Lavillenie) thought of is such a great idea in so many ways,” added Stefanidi. “It’s a great way to just switch off and vault. There are so many mental challenges with pole vaulting, but sometimes you have to just shut your brain off and make the bar, and this is a great way of practicing that. It also combines many different physical elements that are really useful for a pole vaulter.” Stefanidi told World Athletics.
Two weeks ago, France's Renaud Lavillenie and Armand Duplantis were tied by clearing 36 times 5.00m in the very 1st edition of Ultimate Garden Clash.