MANILA, Philippines – EJ Obiena notched a new personal season-high on the way to striking gold in the Orlen Cup in Lodz, Poland on Friday, February 11 (Saturday, February 12, Manila time).
The Filipino pole vaulter soared past 5.81 meters to best Brazil’s Thiago Braz and Poland’s Piotr Lisek for his first podium finish of the year.
Braz and Lisek both committed three straight fouls at 5.81m, paving the way for Obiena – who needed just one attempt to clear the height – to pocket the gold medal.
Already the winner, Obiena took two attempts at 5.90m – failing on both – before he raised the bar to 5.95m with the goal of breaking his Asian record of 5.93m on his final try.
However, the world No. 5 did not vault himself and ran through the landing mat.
Obiena then stripped his name tag which showed “I tried” written on the back of the paper.
Leaping past 5.71m in just one try, 2016 Rio Olympics champion Braz clinched silver, while Lisek bagged bronze.
Belarus’ Matvey Volkov wound up at fourth followed by Poland’s Pawel Wojciechowski, China’s Bokai Huang, and Poland’s Robert Sobera and Bartosz Marciniewicz.
For his last two events of the month, Obiena will fly to France for the Meeting Hauts-de-France on February 17 before he returns to Poland for the Orlen Copernicus Cup on February 22. – Rappler.com