EJ equals national mark for bronze in Sweden

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
EJ equals national mark for bronze in Sweden
EJ Obiena

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino world No. 3 pole-vaulter EJ Obiena ramped up his 2024 Paris Olympics bid with a record-matching, bronze medal-clinching performance in the star-studded Mondo Classic 2023 in Uppsala, Sweden Thursday.

Obiena vaulted to 5.91 meters in claiming the bronze and equaling the national indoor mark he set in Paris, France two years ago.

It’s one of two Philippine records owned by the Southeast Asian Games gold winner aside from the outdoor mark of 5.94m he registered in last year’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon where he delivered the country its breakthrough medal – a bronze.

As expected, pole vault demigod Armand Duplantis of Sweden effortlessly ruled the competition that drew seven of the world’s top 10 in the sport, setting a new meet record of 6.10m.

American KC Lightfoot took the silver also with a 5.91m, besting the Filipino ace via count back as the former cleared it on the second try as against the latter, who completed it on the third and final attempt.

Obiena went for the moon and attempted to breach the six-meter plateau for the first time in his life but missed the 6.0m on two tries and 6.05m on one attempt.

It was still a remarkable feat for Obiena. It was his third podium finish in as many attempts to start the year following a gold-medal performance in Roubaix, France and a silver in Cottbus, Germany a week ago.

Obiena has no plans of slowing down as he is scheduled to compete in two more Orlin Cup events in Poland – one in Lodz tonight and another in Copernicus Wednesday.


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