Sports-deprived residents of Dusseldorf got their first chance to see live action competition in months on Friday evening, when the city organised a «Flight Night» pole-vaulting competition at a drive-in cinema.
Fans were able to watch from their cars or from distanced chairs on the sidelines, abiding by social-distancing rules that limit large in-person gatherings.
Competitors battled through heavy winds to clear their targets, with German vaulter Torben Blech coming out on top at 5.55 metres.
«As a drive-in movie theatre it is possible that people can come. They keep a distance and can still enjoy big events. I mean we had concerts here, we had of course movies here, we even had a wedding here, we had church services here. And tonight is the first big sports event, and you see there are a lot of people and they seem to really enjoy it,» said Thomas Weisel, the mayor of Dusseldorf who was in attendance.
Champion Blech believed that his experience as a decathlete gave him an edge in working with the difficult conditions.
«I think it's a bit difficult because the wind is really high. So you can see every jumper has problems, but I think I'm a former decathlete. I know how to work with because if you do seven disciplines before you have to jump over. So it's difficult today but it's nice,» said Blech.
An international track and field meet called «The Impossible Games» was also held last Thursday in Oslo, Norway but without spectators.