Pole vault

EJ Obiena defends Orlen Copernicus Cup throne in Poland

Delfin Dioquino

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EJ Obiena defends Orlen Copernicus Cup throne in Poland

CONSISTENT. EJ Obiena has been a steady force in the European pole vault circuit.

EJ Obiena Instagram page

EJ Obiena claims his second straight gold medal and third overall in the indoor pole vault season as he rules the Orlen Copernicus Cup anew

MANILA, Philippines – EJ Obiena reigned supreme in the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland for the second year in a row on Wednesday, February 8 (Thursday, February 9, Manila time).

The Filipino pole vaulter soared past 5.87 meters to claim his second straight gold medal of the indoor season and third overall after ruling the Orlen Cup in Lodz four days prior.

No one posed a challenge to Obiena, who took just a single attempt each at 5.62m and 5.77m for a successful clearance as he skipped 5.32m, 5.52m, 5.67m, and 5.72m.

After skipping 5.82m, the world No. 3 hurdled 5.87m in two tries, while silver medalist Rutger Koppelaar of the Netherlands and bronze medalist Ben Broeders of Belgium both failed at the height to bow out of contention.

With the gold in the bag, Obiena sought to break the long-standing Asian indoor record of 5.92m set by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1998 but found 5.95m too tall a task to overcome.

Obiena tried equaling Potapovich at 5.92m, registering a foul, before he moved up to 5.95m, where he exhausted his last two attempts.

Despite falling short of setting a new Asian indoor record to pair with his Asian outdoor mark of 5.94m, the 27-year-old still kept his streak intact as he secured a podium finish in each of his first five events to start the year.

Obiena also won gold in the Perche en Or in Roubaix, France in January.

Koppelaar and Broeders both cleared 5.82m, but the Dutch edged the Belgian for the silver via the countback rule.

A total of 11 pole vaulters competed in the event, including former Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil, who got the boot early with a score of 5.52m.

Obiena’s feat came just a day after he posted on his social media account that he pulled out of the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships set in Kazakhstan later this week due to logistical and financial woes.– 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.