Fans get to watch as Blech stars in drive-in pole vaulting event

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: POLE VAULTERS COMPETING IN EVENT AT A DUESSELDORF DRIVE-IN CINEMA WITH FANS WATCHING FROM THEIR CARS

SHOWS: DUESSELDORF, GERMANY (JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. FANS IN THEIR CARS, WHISTLING, APPLAUDING AND HONKING THEIR CAR HORNS AHEAD OF THE POLE VAULT COMPETITION AT A DRIVE-IN CINEMA

2. POLE VAULTERS SITTING DOWN AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): RAPHAEL HOLZDEPPE, KARSTEN DILLA, TORBEN BLECH, PHILIP KASS, BO KANDA LITA BAEHRE AND MENNO VLOON OF THE NETHERLANDS

3. STAFF, WEARING MASKS, PREPARE THE BAR

4. POLE VAULTERS STANDING ON RUNWAY AS THEY'RE PRESENTED TO CROWD WITH SPARKS FLYING INTO THE AIR

5. FIRE BALLS BLASTED INTO AIR / POLE VAULT RUNWAY AND BAR

6. BLECH SUCCESSFULLY VAULTING OVER THE BAR

7. FANS CLAPPING AND CHEERING AS THEY WATCH THE COMPETITION

8. KASS VAULTING OVER THE BAR

9. VLOON VAULTING OVER THE BAR

10. VARIOUS OF LITA BAEHRE VAULTING OVER THE BAR

11. DILLA VAULTING OVER THE BAR

STORY: Fans deprived of live athletics action were treated to a mini pole vaulting competition on Friday (June 12) as German Torben Blech won the Flight Night event at a drive-in cinema in Duesseldorf, Germany.

In the absence of world record holder Armand Duplantis, Blech cleared 5.55 metres as pole vaulters competed in the first sports event in front of spectators in Germany since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fans, abiding by social distancing rules, watched from their cars, either live or on a giant screen as the night settled on Duesseldorf's Autokino.

Some honked their support and showed patience as the event, which featured mostly second-string pole vaulters, was suspended for 20 minutes because of strong winds.

The event, sponsored by PSD Bank, helped raise money for a child cancer association at the Duesseldorf's university hospital.

Athletic competitions resumed on Thursday, but with no spectators, with the Oslo leg of the Diamond League.

Swede Duplantis, whose world record stands at 6.18m, won the pole vaulting event by clearing 5.86m.

(Production: Wolfgang Rattany, Tim Hart)

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