THE stars continued to align themselves in Ernest John “EJ” Obiena’s pursuit of a successful Tokyo Olympics as the top Philippine pole vaulter clinched another Diamond League bronze medal this time in the prestigious series’ Rome leg on Wednesday.
Obiena cleared 5.80 meters, a centimeter short of his personal best, to share the podium with Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, who again rocked the event with a new world record leap of 6.17m, erasing the previous mark of 6.14m the legendary Ukrainian, Sergey Bubka, set in 1994.
Ben Broeders of Belgium posted 5.80 meters for the silver medal.
Obiena went for 5.85m hooping to set a new national record but failed.
It was Obiena’s sixth podium finish since returning to competitions in the last two months, netting one gold, two silvers and three bronze medals.
Just recently, the 6-foot-1 Obiena clinched gold at the 59th Ostrava Golden Spike tournament in the
Czech Republic where he cleared 5.74m. His silver came at the 13th Triveneto International Meeting in Trieste, Italy, last August and earned his first Diamond League bronze medal at the Monaco leg also in August.
The 24-year-old Obiena will again compete in the Doha leg of the Diamond League on September 24.
Obiena is based at the World Pole Vault Centre in Formia, Italy.
Image credits: AFP