EJ sputters to ninth in world indoor meet

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
EJ sputters to ninth in world indoor meet
EJ Obiena
Facebook / EJ Obiena

MANILA, Philippines — There’s a reason why Swedish titan Armand Duplantis is the best pole-vaulter in the world.

Filipino star EJ Obiena witnessed it in full, majestic glory Sunday as the dragon of the sport ruled the World Athletics Indoor Championships while the world No. 2 Filipino uncharacteristically sputtered to ninth in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Olympic and world champion and record-holder cleared 6.05 meters to claim the gold in the biggest event of the season while the Asian king was befuddled and managed just 5.65m in winding up ninth in the 11-man field.

The shockingly mediocre effort came after two straight golden efforts in the Memorial Josip Gasparac in Croatia and the ISTAF Indoor Berlin in Germany where he set a new national indoor mark of 5.93m.

Had Obiena replicated his Berlin feat, he could have easily seized the silver or bronze.

But he couldn’t, leaving veteran American Sam Kendricks and Greek Emmanouil Karalis to snare the silver and bronze with 5.90m and 5.85m, respectively.

It wasn’t that Duplantis didn’t have a tough time.

He did as he had to shake off some early jitters in getting past 5.85m in his third and final try.

That eventually paved the way for another victorious performance Duplantis is known to regularly dish out.

Unfortunately, Obiena wasn’t able to overcome his own struggles and would have to wait for another day to get that chance to beat Duplantis.

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