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Obiena wins gold, breaks Philippine record
EJ Obiena
STAR/File

Obiena wins gold, breaks Philippine record

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena is fast turning into a legitimate Tokyo Olympics medal contender after coming through with a record-breaking performance and capturing the gold in the “Jump and Fly” competition in Mossingen, Germany yesterday.

The 25-year-old Obiena cleared 5.85m to erase the national outdoor mark of 5.81m he himself set in Chiara, Italy two years ago that also booked him a slot to the quadrennial event.

The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, who also owns the national indoor record of 5.86m he posted in Lodz, Poland last February, went for a 5.93m but failed in three attempts.

“Got to grind some more before the big day comes,” said Obiena, whose campaign is being backed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and Summit Water.

German Oleg Zernikel, who is also Tokyo-bound, took the silver with a 5.70m while his compatriots Philip Kass and Humann Tom Linus claimed the bronze with identical marks of 5.40m.

It was the second outdoor mint for Obiena and fourth overall this year after he nailed two indoor golds in Berlin and Dortmund last February.

It also came just less than a week after he cleared 5.80m for a silver medal finish in the FBK Games in Hengelo, the Netherlands behind world record-holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, (6.10m).

It also underscored Obiena’s readiness to deliver the country its first Olympic medal in athletics since Miguel White snared a 400m hurdles bronze in the 1936 Berlin Games.

EJ OBIENA
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