On Monday, August 17th, four of the world’s top pole vault champions competed head-to-head in Fine’s first ever live steam competition. Over 2.5 million viewers world-wide, watched a spectacular display of athleticism and skill at the global live stream pole vaulting competition by Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), one of the world’s leading wellness groups and manufacturers of hygienic paper products. This was the first time that the athletes have competed wearing masks, with the aim to raise awareness on safety at this time.
Brazil’s Thiago Braz placed first vaulting to an impressive height of 5.70 meters. The Brazilian Olympic Gold Medallist holds a personal best of 6.03 meters. Philippine’s EJ Obiena came second with a height of 5.60 meters. The athlete is set to make his Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2021 and currently holds the Asian Gold Medalist and the Asian Athletics Championships record with his best at 5.71 meters.
Matt Ludwig, US Indoor Champion and NCAA Championship qualifier with a personal best of 5.90 meters claimed third place at a height of 5.53 meters, and in fourth place, Paweł Wojciechowski at 5.20 meters. Pawel is the current European pole-vaulting champion and previous world champion with a personal best of 5.93 meters.
Fine Hygienic holding gave away a total cash prize of USD 50,000 to the athletes, as a recognition of their efforts and time.
“It was both an honor and a privilege to work with these four incredible athletes and to be able to watch them perform at their absolute best as they prepare to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Our vision for this event was so much more than simple entertainment; it was about kindling excitement and optimism for people all over the world at a time when it is needed the most. I believe we accomplished that vision and I look forward to many more live virtual competitions in the future,” said Fine Hygienic Holding CEO, James Michael Lafferty.
Winner of the competition Thiago Braz said, “I would like to congratulate everyone who participated today and thank all those who helped organize this amazing event. Special thanks to Fine Hygienic Holding who have placed their trust and for helping athletes during these testing times”.
EJ Obiena said, “I would like to thank everyone who made this competition amazing and I’m hoping we can have similar events in the future. I’m immensely grateful to the organising team at Fine and especially Mr. James for creating this wonderful opportunity, that allows us to share our love and passion for pole vaulting to the world, while making it entertaining at the same time.”
Matt Ludwig said, “At a time when social distancing and wearing masks are the safest things we can do to protect everybody, I would like to immensely thank Fine Hygienic Holding for bringing us together virtually and pulling off a safe, exciting, global event. We as athletes are grateful to have the support from such a great company. Personally, it was interesting and difficult to compete without having any of the competitors in the same venue. Overall, my jumps were not as dynamic as usual however it showed me that I have a lot to work on, which I’m looking forward to as we approach the Olympic season.”
Paweł Wojciechowski said, “I am disappointed with my height clearance but this is the beauty of the sport, as you don’t always jump as high even when you’re feeling good. I was certainly nervous as I knew that we were doing something completely new and I wanted to perform to the best of my abilities, but it just wasn’t my day. It is always great when there are companies like Fine Hygienic Holding who support us and by organizing such events during this difficult time.”
The health and safety of the athletes and all organizers was given top priority throughout every phase of the event. In addition to providing all participants with essential hygienic products, Fine supplied each athlete with a Fine Guard Sports Mask, which allowed them to compete with the utmost protection while not inhibiting their performance. Fine Guard Sport is the world’s only reusable hygienic face mask enhanced with the Swiss patented Livinguard technology, proven to effectively kill germs, bacteria and viruses, including Coronavirus, while allowing the user to breathe freely during strenuous physical activity.