Obiena eyes flourishing finish to ’22 ‘Season 2’ | Inquirer Sports
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Obiena eyes flourishing finish to ’22 ‘Season 2’

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:20 AM August 25, 2022
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena gestures in the men's pole vault final during the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on July 24, 2022.

The Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena. (AFP FILE PHOTO)

Ernest John Obiena will wrap up a flourishing campaign this year with seven tournaments in Europe in a span of 20 days, all of them part of the buildup of the world’s No. 3 pole vaulter for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nearly a month removed from his historic bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships, the Filipino pole vault star has installed himself as one of the favorites to rule these meets by topping the Stabhochsprung Meeting in Jockrim, Germany, on Tuesday.

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Obiena returned to his winning ways after clearing 5.81 meters, beating Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen and the rest of the field.

“We got the gold medal and the standard for next year’s World Champs in Hungary,’’ said Obiena. “This was one of my first European meets back in 2016. Great start for the second part of the season.’’

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The 26-year-old Tokyo Olympian became the first Filipino to capture a medal in the World Athletics Championships with a bronze last month at the Eugene, Oregon, meet.

Nilsen secured the silver via countback after clearing 5.71 m on his second try, while hometown favorite Bo Kanda Luta Baehre got the bronze after hurdling the same height on his third attempt.

“I’m suiting up for Season 2022 part two. Let’s see what we have in the tank,’’ said Obiena prior to the Germany trip from his training camp in Formia, Italy. “Praying for the poles for each travel.’’

It will be a relatively busy week for Obiena, who will next take his poles to the highly competitive Athletissima in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday before resting on the trip to Leverkusen, Germany, for the True Athletics Classics come Monday.

Obiena will then bring his act to the St. Wendel City Jump also in Germany on Aug. 31 and move to Brussels, Belgium, on Sept. 2 followed by the ISTAF meet in Berlin two days later before capping his season in the Golden Fly in Schaan, Liechtenstein, on Sept. 11.

“We got to do more. Competition week is coming in hot,’’ said Obiena, whose ultimate goal is to step onto the medal podium of the Olympics.

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