Pole vault

Obiena rules Orlen Cup in Poland behind new personal season-high

Delfin Dioquino
Obiena rules Orlen Cup in Poland behind new personal season-high

TRIUMPH. EJ Obiena claims his first win of the season in Poland.

Johanna Geron/Reuters

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena finally clears 5.81 meters for his first podium finish of the season

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.

Obiena failed to surpass 5.81m in his first two events of the season as he landed at fourth and eighth place in the ISTAF Indoor Berlin and Beijer Stavhoppsgala, respectively, earlier this month.

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

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.