EJ peaking at right time

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
EJ peaking at right time
EJ Obiena
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena is back, and reaching peak form just in time for the Paris Games.

After some struggles caused by issues with his poles, the world No. 2 and Asian champion from the Philippines rediscovered his old lethal self after he topped, with his new sets of sticks, the sixth Irena Szewi?ska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, Poland early yesterday.

The Paris Olympics-bound Filipino was at his familiar electric self on this one as he delivered his best performance this season with a 5.97-meter clearance in topping the 10-strong field.

Greek Emmanouil Karalis, who is also a potential foe for Obiena in Paris, took the silver with a 5.92m while Polish Piotr Lisek the bronze with a 5.75m.

It was by far Obiena’s worthiest effort recently, eclipsing his 5.93m in the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin, Germany last February.

More importantly, it was a result that should reenergize Obiena following his recent misfortunes in past meets wherein he needed to borrow poles just to complete his participation.

And it was because the poles he badly needed had arrived to save the day with a month left before he wades into battle in the quadrennial event at the French capital.

Obiena tried to break his personal best of 6m and went for 6.02m, which would have been his first in the 6m plateau had he cleared it, but missed out on it.

But the good sign was there and, if the stars align, he would have plenty of chances to do it in Paris where he hopes to deliver the country’s first medal in track and field in the Olympics since Miguel White snared a 400m hurdles bronze in the 1936 Berlin Games and, possibly, capture the one medal everybody covets – the gold.

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