EJ Obiena bags bronze in Poland ahead of Olympic qualifier
MANILA, Philippines—Prepping up for the Olympic qualification set to kick off next month, Ernest John Obiena began the groundwork with a podium performance in a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet.
The world’s No. 3 vaulter grabbed the bronze medal after clearing 5.72 meters at the 2023 Irena Szewinska Memorial in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Wednesday (Manila time).
Chris Nilsen of the United States ruled the event with a 5.92-meter effort while Poland’s Piotr Lisek cleared 5.82m for the silver medal.
Coming off a record-shattering, gold-medal output in the recent Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, Obiena raised the bar to 5.82 meters, but couldn’t hurdle the height on three occasions.
Nilsen, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Olympic champion and world record-holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, easily conquered 5.72m and went over 5.82m after two attempts before calling it a day with a successful try at 5.92m on his third jump.
Sam Kendricks also cleared 5.72m, but Obiena defeated the American via the countback.
Obiena, the current Asian record-holder at 5.94m, will pack his things in time for the Bergen Jump Challenge in Bergen, Norway on Saturday before capping a three-leg European sortie at the Oslo Bislett Games on June 15.
Once the Olympic qualification for Paris 2024 kicks off, the Italy-based Obiena should clear 5.82m in any tournament sanctioned by World Athletics to secure another Olympic berth for the Tokyo Olympian.