With his recent spate of victories in pole vault, Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena is making a strong case for himself to win the country’s first athletics medal in the Olympics in nearly 100 years.
Last Friday, Obiena won his event in record-breaking fashion to bag the gold in the Internationales Stadionfest Indoor athletics event in Berlin, Germany.
He cleared the 5.80-meter high bar and in the process broke his own national indoor record of 5.62 meters he established barely a week ago at the World Athletics Indoor Tour in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Obiena actually tied for first with Torben Blech, a German. However, the gold was awarded to him since he cleared the bar in only his first attempt. Blech did the trick on his second try and thus was only good for the silver medal.
Oleg Zernikel, another German, bagged the bronze with a leap of 5.72 meters.
Obiena, who also attempted to leap 5.87 meters in Berlin but failed, will see action in several other indoor tournaments until next month. He will make a final push starting April on the road to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, slated for July 2021.
The 25-year-old SEA Games medalist is hoping to match or even surpass the feat of Miguel White, who won the bronze in the 400-meter hurdles event in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.