Pole vault

Obiena settles for 8th in Sweden as Duplantis rules home event

Delfin Dioquino
Obiena settles for 8th in Sweden as Duplantis rules home event

HURDLE. EJ Obiena once again fails to clear 5.81 meters in his second event of the year.

Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS

Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena lands in a tie with world No. 3 Sam Kendricks of the United States in the Beijer Stavhoppsgala

MANILA, Philippines – EJ Obiena has yet to rediscover the form that made him the world No. 5 pole vaulter as he settled for eighth place in the Beijer Stavhoppsgala in Uppsala, Sweden on Wednesday, February 9 (Thursday, February 10, Manila time).

Competing for the second time this year, Obiena once again failed to clear 5.81 meters and landed in a tie with world No. 3 Sam Kendricks of the United States.

The Asian record holder also did not surpass 5.81m when he placed fourth in the ISTAF Berlin in Germany last week.

In another display of dominance, home bet and reigning Olympic champion Armand Duplantis dazzled before his compatriots as he snagged the gold medal by soaring past 6.04m.

The only three participants left standing after 5.92m, Duplantis and Americans Chris Nielsen and KC Lightfoot all opted to skip 5.98m, but it was only the Swede world record record who managed to leap past 6.04m, doing so in just one try.

Duplantis attempted to shatter his world record of 6.18m that has stood for nearly two years anew only to commit three straight fouls at 6.19m.

Nielsen, who finished as runner-up to Duplantis in the Tokyo Olympics last year, clinched silver after a flawless performance in the earlier rounds, while Lightfoot pocketed bronze.

Greece’s Emmanuel Karalis and Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse wound up at fourth and fifth place, respectively, after clearing 5.81m.

Like Obiena and Kendricks, the Netherlands’ Menno Vloon and Brazil’s Thiago Braz also bowed out of the competition at 5.70m, but they concluded their campaigns at joint sixth via countback where they avoided a foul in the first two heights.

Belgium’s Ben Broeders landed at 10th, while Poland’s Piotr Lisek crashed at 11th and last place.

Obiena will return to action on February 11 as he flies to Poland for the Orlen Cup, the first of his last three events scheduled for the month. – 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.