EJ Obiena claims his first gold of the season
MANILA, Philippines–Pole vaulter EJ Obiena showed why he is the Philippines’ brightest hope for global athletics glory.
Clearing a mark he struggled with earlier this week, Obiena scored his first win of the year, topping the Orlen Cup in Poland on Saturday.
Obiena cleared a season-best 5.81 meters on his first try to win the tournament after coming off an eighth-place finish two days ago at the Beijer Stavhoppsgala Uppsala in Sweden. He struggled with the same mark in that Sweden tournament, which was ruled by world record holder and Olympic champion Armand Duplantis.
This time, Obiena cleared the height and even went for 5.90 and 5.95 m, in an attempt to rewrite his Asian record of 5.93 m.
Brazil’s Thiago Braz, the former Olympic champion, and home bet Piotr Lisek finished second and third, respectively with similar 5.71 m clearance.
Obiena, The Tokyo Olympian who underwent knee surgery last month, had failed to go past 5.70 m in his previous two competitions.
Earlier this month, the Tokyo Olympian placed fourth in the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin, Germany.
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