EJ Obiena lands 3rd in World Athletics pole vault Top 10

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
EJ Obiena lands 3rd in World Athletics pole vault Top 10
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 — Amid his controversial row with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), EJ Obiena ended 2021 with a bang as he cemented himself as one of the world's top pole vaulters.

Obiena, who broke the national record multiple times in 2021 and reached the men's pole vault final in the Tokyo Olympics, was ranked third by World Athletics for men's pole vault for the year.

The 26-year-old found himself sharing the spot with two other vaulters, Sam Kendricks and Timur Morgunov with season bests of 5.93m.

At the top of the pack is still world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden with his 6.10m best.

In second is USA's Christoper Nilsen with 5.97m.

Obiena clashed in an unfortunate row with PATAFA in the latter part of 2021 where he was accused of embezzlement and mishandling of funding given to him.

Since then, the pole vaulter has been adamant in defending his name.

The Philippine Olympic Committee also decided in favor of Obiena in the issue and declared PATAFA chief Philip Ella Juico "persona non grata".

Obiena had threatened early retirement over the issue when it first came to light.



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