Americans shine in Innsbruck's Golden Roof Challenge. DANIJEL JOVANOVIC

The tournament, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Saturday, recruited elite athletes who delivered outstanding performances in the pole vault and long jump in Innsbruck. Zachery Bradford led the charge with a 5.82 metres effort.

The Golden Roof Challenge 2024, part of the Golden Fly Series, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of spectacular pole vault and long jump events on the iconic Maria-Theresien-Straße in Innsbruck, which was transformed into a unique sports arena for the occasion.

In a beautiful setting, the Americans dominated the men's pole vault, with Bradford putting in an outstanding performance by jumping 5.82 metres high. He was followed by compatriot Austin Miller, who jumped 5.72 metres to take second place. Matt Ludwig completed the podium by registering 5.42 metres in his second attempt.

In the women's pole vault, Amalie Svabikova of the Czech Republic won her second title in Innsbruck, clearing 4.53 metres on her first attempt. Germany's Anjuli Knäsche finished second, 10 centimetres behind her rival and 2 centimeters off her personal best, while Austria's Magdalena Rauter was third with a jump of 3.83 metres.

The Golden Roof Challenge, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour, did not end there. In the men's long jump competition, there was plenty of talent to be seen in the chilly Austrian night.

A spectacular day was celebrated on the streets of Innsbruck to mark the 20th anniversary of the Golden Roof. DANIJEL JOVANOVIC
A spectacular day was celebrated on the streets of Innsbruck to mark the 20th anniversary of the Golden Roof. DANIJEL JOVANOVIC

The standout competitor of the evening was Lester Lescay Gay, a 22-year-old Cuban Olympian, who enjoyed his first Golden Roof Challenge experience on the FlySwat with a commanding victory thanks to a leap of 8.09 metres. Bulgarian 19-year-old Bozhidar Saraboyukov secured second place with a 8.04-meters jump, followed by Arnovis Dalmero (COL) with a 7.77-metres jump.

First place in the women's long jump went to Natalia Linares, from Colombia, who set the mark on her second attempt with a takeoff of 6.74 metres to win her first Golden Roof Challenge. France's 26-year-old Sarah Leech was second with a leap of 6.20 metres, while Kitija Paula Melnbärde, from Latvia, was third with a recorded 6.17 metres.

Multiple Golden Roof Challenge winner and crowd favourite in Innsbruck, Germany's Markus Rehm (four-time Paralympic gold medallist) jumped 7.93 metres and failed to break the world record (in unofficial competitions). However, this did not stop him from receiving an ovation from the crowd.