EJ Obiena places third in Poland meet

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena settled for third place in the 2020 Poznań Athletics Grand Prix at Poznań, Poland early Saturday morning.

The 24-year-old pole vault star cleared 5.37 meters in his first attempt, hurdled 5.52 m in his second, but failed at 5.62 m in three tries.

Obiena said he was not satisfied with his performance in the Poznań meet despite finishing third in the tournament. He added there may be some issues in the runway and the movement of poles which contributed to the low jumps of the competitors.

"At this moment, I wanna be consistently jumping over that. This Poland competition will definitely not motivate me, but it won’t derail me from what I know what I can do,” Obiena shared to CNN Philippines.

Obiena tied with hometown bet Robert Sobera and Matt Ludwig of the U.S. as they ended up with a final clearance at 5.52 m. The American had a runner-up finish after clearing the height in his first attempt, which led Obiena and Ludwig to tie for third.

Sobera's compatriot Piotr Lisek ruled the competition with a 5.72-m clearance. Veteran pole vaulters Menno Vloon of Netherlands and Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the five-man contest.

Obiena, 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, is waitlisted at the ISTAF Continental Tour at Berlin, Germany on Sept. 13. His other upcoming tournaments are the Rome Diamond League on Sept. 17 and Doha Diamond League on Sept. 24.

Obiena is now in Italy training for the Tokyo Olympics. He was the first Filipino to qualify in the quadrennial sporting meet.