Pole vault

EJ Obiena falls short of podium spot, lands 4th in Hungary meet

Delfin Dioquino
EJ Obiena falls short of podium spot, lands 4th in Hungary meet

SURPRISE. EJ Obiena earns his third straight gold medal as he pulls off a stunning win over Armand Duplantis.

Johanna Geron/Reuters

Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena misses the podium for the first time after a trio of top-three finishes, placing fourth in the Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena saw his streak of podium finishes come to a halt after placing fourth in the 12th Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary on Monday, August 8.

Clearing just 5.45m, almost half a meter short of his Asian record of 5.94m, Obiena landed behind Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, France’s Renaud Lavillenie, and Thibaut Collet.

Obiena needed just one attempt to surpass 5.45m before he bowed out, presumably because of tired legs as he saw action in two events in three days, bagging bronze in the Silesia Diamond League in Poland last Friday, August 5.

He failed in his first try at 5.60m and exhausted his last two attempts at 5.70m.

Even world record holder Duplantis – who competed against Obiena in Poland – failed to breach the six-meter mark he usually hurdles with ease as he posted 5.80m.

Duplantis, though, still proved head and shoulders above the field by setting a new meet record to capture the top prize.

Lavillenie cleared 5.70m for silver, while Collet recorded 5.60m for bronze.

It was the first time Obiena missed the podium following a trio of top-three finishes that highlighted his stellar month-long run, including a historic bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships in the USA in July.

He struck gold in the Jump and Fly event in Germany early in July, reset his Asian record to clinch a breakthrough bronze in the worlds, and bagged another bronze in the Silesia Diamond League.

USA’s Chris Nilsen and Olen Tray Oates wound up at fifth and sixth places, respectively, after leaping past 5.45m, with Obiena edging them for fourth place via the countback rule.

Hungary’s Marcell Nagy and Brazil’s Thiago Braz also participated. – 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.