MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena clinched the bronze medal in the Asian Athletics Championship on Thursday, July 6, at Bhubaneswar, India.
The 6-foot-two Obiena leapt 5.50 meters as he ended the tournament in 3rd place behind gold medalist Ding Bangchao of China who finished with 5.65. Masaki Eljima of Japan sealed the tourney in second place on tiebreak.
Obiena, who holds the national record in pole vaulting with 5.55 meters, is one of the Philippines’ top bets in the upcoming 29th Southeast Asian Games in August. He has also been training in Europe since March.
Meanwhile, 4-time SEA Games titlist Marestella Torres suffered an upset as she placed 5th with 6.20 in the long jump.
Bu thi Thu of Vietnam stole the championship with a 6.54 meter leap on her first try over hometown favorite V. Neena.
The 36-year-old Torres, who won the 2009 Asian Championship, was fouled 3 times.
Torres also set the national mark of 6.72 meters to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Her performance this year, however, did not come close to the Philippine record. – Rappler.com
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