CAPAS, Philippines – EJ Obiena continued to show he's back in top form.
Just months after securing an Olympic berth, Obiena leapt into a record-breaking performance to capture the men's pole vault gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games on Saturday, December 7 in New Clark City, Tarlac.
The Philippine athletics star easily bested his opponents and remained as the only athlete in contention when he cleared the height of 5.45 meters to set a new SEA Games record.
Obiena surpassed the SEA Games mark of 5.35m held by Thailand’s Porranot Purahong.
In 2017, Obiena had to pull out of the SEA Games after sustaining an ACL injury just a day before leaving for the competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 23-year-old recovered in time for the 2018 Asian Games, but still had a lackluster stint. (Back to zero: EJ Obiena gears up for pole vault comeback)
Last September, Obiena qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after he eclipsed the cut of 5.80m and smashed his Philippine record for the third time. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.