EJ misses podium in Berlin

The Philippine Star
EJ misses podium in Berlin
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena competes in the men's pole vault final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 3, 2021.
AFP / Ben Stansall

MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena slowed down after his recent Asian record-setting performance, booking a fourth-place finish in the International Stadionfest (ISTAF) in Berlin yesterday.

The Filipino pole vault star could not sustain his historic leap of 5.93 meters in Austria, falling short at 5.91m to bow out of contention.

American KC Lightfoot also failed at 5.91m but cleared 5.81m in just one attempt, compared to Obiena’s three, to snatch the bronze medal on a countback.

Fellow Americans Sam Kendricks and Christopher Nilsen both passed 5.91m to win the gold and silver medal, respectively, for a podium sweep of the United States in the 11-man tiff.

Kendricks and Nilsen skipped 5.96m and went for 6.01m but failed.

Obiena last Saturday cleared 5.93m at the 2021 International Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria to win the tourney and break the long-standing Asian record of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich (5.92m) set in France in 1992.

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