Pole vault

‘Reality of sports’: Obiena reflects on World Indoor Championships setback

Delfin Dioquino

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‘Reality of sports’: Obiena reflects on World Indoor Championships setback

VAULT. The Philippines' Ernest John Obiena in action during the men's pole vault final in the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships.

Fabrizio Bensch/REUTERS

Gunning for a medal, Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena instead finishes ninth in the World Athletics Indoor Championships

MANILA, Philippines – A debut in the World Athletics Indoor Championships did not go according to plan for world No. 2 pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

The Filipino star, though, conceded that is simply the way the cookie crumbles for athletes like him.

Obiena fell flat in his bid to capture a medal in the centerpiece event of the indoor season as he finished ninth out of 11 pole vaulters who saw action in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday, March 3 (Monday, March 4, Manila time).

“Took my chances, but it did not work out. Clearing one bar in the whole competition and coming in ninth place. The reality of sports sometimes,” Obiena wrote on his social media accounts.

“First world indoor championships are in the books as the 2024 indoor season comes to a conclusion.”

Obiena surpassed just the 5.65m bar as he struggled to hurdle heights he normally clears, with the pride of Tondo soaring past at least 5.80m in each of his previous seven events dating back to 2023.

After two unsuccessful tries at 5.85m, Obiena upped the ante and decided to raise the bar to 5.90m for his final attempt but to no avail.

His performance in Glasgow came on the heels of a pair of golden feats as Obiena topped his first two events of the indoor season.

Obiena leapt past 5.83m to reign supreme in the Memorial Josip Gasparac in Croatia, then shattered the long-standing Asian indoor record with a 5.93m clearance to rule the ISTAF Indoor Berlin in Germany in February.

As expected, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis defended his World Athletics Indoor Championships throne with 6.05m, while the USA’s Sam Kendricks (5.90m) and Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis (5.85m) settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

Obiena will turn his focus to the outdoor season as he continues to build up for the Paris Olympics that will start in July.

“Thank you everyone who came, watch, and screamed their hearts out. I owe you one,” he said. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.