Pole vault

EJ Obiena gets 2023 season heating up, bags gold at France indoor tournament

JR Isaga

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EJ Obiena gets 2023 season heating up, bags gold at France indoor tournament

HOT START. EJ Obiena opens the season with a pair of medals.


EJ Obiena earns his first championship of the 2023 season after ruling the Perche en Or indoor tournament in France just three days after winning silver in Germany

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena got his first championship in 2023 after ruling the Perche en Or in Roubaix, France on Saturday, January 28 (Sunday, January 29, Manila time).

The 27-year-old phenom faced little competition after clearing a season-best 5.82 meters in his first attempt, while eventual second-placer Jie Yao of China settled for silver off a new personal record 5.75 meters in his third jump.

Obiena, currently holding the Asian indoor record of 5.94 meters, tried thrice to breach the 5.90-meter mark at the Stab Velodorome, but snagged the bar each time.

Home country bet Ethan Cormont bagged bronze after clearing 5.55 meters and 5.65 meters in a single attempt, edging fellow Frenchman Robin Emig, who needed two tries at the 5.55-meter level.

Obiena is just three days removed from a silver-medal finish at the Internationales Springer-Meeting in Cottbus, Germany, where he nailed a 5.77-meter finish behind American Sam Kendricks’ golden 5.82-meter leap.

The country’s lone pole vault bet in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Obiena is gunning for a strong buildup towards the 2024 Paris Games, where he is tabbed to be one of the Philippines’ strongest gold medal bets alongside weightlifting defending champion Hidilyn Diaz.

Obiena is coming off a sensational 2022 run, where he tallied 12 gold-medal finishes, including one over Swedish prodigy Armand Duplantis. – Rappler.com

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