Pole vault

‘Very pissed’: EJ Obiena settles for 7th as pole breaks in Czech Republic tiff

Delfin Dioquino

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‘Very pissed’: EJ Obiena settles for 7th as pole breaks in Czech Republic tiff

BROKEN POLE. EJ Obiena in action for the Philippines in the 2024 Golden Spike Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

EJ Obiena Facebook page

EJ Obiena struggles with multiple issues with his poles – with one even breaking – as he records his lowest clearance in international competition in nearly two years

MANILA, Philippines – It was just one of those unlucky days for EJ Obiena.

Obiena recorded his lowest clearance in nearly two years as he placed seventh in the Ostrava Golden Spike after dealing with multiple issues with his poles in Czech Republic on Tuesday, May 28 (Wednesday, May 29, Manila time).

‘Very pissed’: EJ Obiena settles for 7th as pole breaks in Czech Republic tiff

He cleared just 5.52m as he failed to replicate his bronze finish last year in the event where one of his poles broke.

Reigning Olympic champion and world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden picked up his seventh gold medal of the year by soaring past 6.00m, while France’s Ethan Cormont nailed silver via countback with 5.62m.

Belgium’s Ben Broeders and Czech Republic’s David Holy also tallied 5.62m to share the bronze.

Obiena dealt with problems transporting his poles from the United States – where he competed in the Los Angeles Grand Prix – to the Czech Republic, with one pole eventually breaking on competition day.

He got on the board by easily clearing 5.52m in one attempt before he failed at 5.72m and 5.82m.

“Frustrating to say the least and very pissed at the whole debacle. Taking what positive I can take on this whole situation and thankfully it seems like I am in one piece,” Obiena wrote on Facebook.

It has been a roller-coaster past couple of months for the Asian record holder as he gears up for the Paris Olympics.

Ranked second in the world, Obiena placed ninth in the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Great Britain in March, bagged gold in the Los Angeles Grand Prix this May, then missed the podium again in Ostrava.

His 5.52m clearance in Ostrava is his lowest since he recorded 5.45m in the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary in August 2022.

Obiena aims to get back on track as he competes in the Oslo Bislett Games in Norway on May 30. – 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.