Obiena takes gold in the True Athletes Classic

Another competition, another medal for Ernerst John ‘EJ’ Obiena.

The Philippine Olympian pole vaulter picked up a golden one after leading the 2022 True Athletes Classic at Manforter Stadio in Leverkusen, Germany on Sunday night (Philippines time).

Obiena, 26, jumped 5.81 meters on his second attempt to win the event, which however lacked his main rivals in American Chirstopher Nilsen and world record holder Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis.

Rutgar Koppelaar of the Netherlands and Kurtis Marschall of Australia also cleared 5.81 on their respective second attempts but had to settle for second and third respectively due to the count.

Koppelaar and Marschall faulted in their previous jumps unlike Obiena, who had no problem clearing the 5.45m, 5.55m and 5.65m bars.

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Obiena, who placed 11th at the Tokyo Olympics, jumped 5.75 before clearing the height of 5.81m.

The two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist also tried to set a new Asian and personal best of 5.95m, but he couldn’t perform in three tries.

“I’m very happy to bring home (the gold medal emoji) against a great field. But on the other hand, I’m frustrated to miss 5.95m again,” Obiena wrote on Monday. in a post on Facebook which he titled “The Chronicles of Leverkusen”. 2022′

“We’ve narrowed it down to a few technical adaptations, which at these heights makes the difference between a dud or a dud. Like everything in life, it’s all about continuous improvement.”

Meanwhile, local bet Bo Kanda Lita Baehre jumped 5.73m for fourth place while Norway’s Sondre Guttormsen cleared the same height but placed fifth due to the countdown.


Naomi C. Amerson