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EJ Obiena breaks PH record to win gold ahead of Tokyo Olympics

EJ Obiena pole vault athletics

FILE – The Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena reacts during the Pole Vault Men competition of the ISTAF INDOOR (Internationales Stadionfest) international athletics meeting on February 5, 2021 in Berlin. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / POOL / AFP)

MANILA–Ernest John Obiena scaled new heights — on all counts — after setting a new Philippine record and winning gold medal in the Jump and Fly International Athletics in Mossingen, Germany.

In the thick of the Tokyo Olympic preparations, the country’s top pole vaulter soared to 5.85 meters, erasing his own 5.81 mark done in Italy in 2019.

Yet more than anything, the performance boosted Obiena’s stock going into Tokyo where he is chasing the gold along with the world’s best.

BREAKING!!!EJ Obiena sets a new Philippine record and bags the gold medal in pole vault at the Jump & Fly International…

Posted by Philippine Athletics Track And Field Association on Friday, June 11, 2021

In also setting the new stadium record, Obiena bested Germans Oleg Zernikel and Philip Kass who cleared 5.70m and 5.40m, respectively.

A few days ago, the reigning Asian and Southeast Asian Games champion placed second in the FBK Games, behind only to top guy Mondo Duplantis of Sweden.

Duplantis, who owns the world record of 6.18m, ruled the meet with 6.10m. Obiena submitted a height of 5.80m which was higher than the others including reigning Olympic champ Thiago Braz of Brazil (5.62).

Obiena is returning to Formia, Italy, where he has been training for the past three years, to assess his performances under the watch of coach Vitaly Petrov. Then he will compete in three more outdoor tournaments before flying into Tokyo.


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