EJ Obiena records new season-best, wins bronze in 2020 Rome Diamond League

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Photo courtesy: Rome Diamond League/YouTube

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) - Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena leaped into his new season-best clearance of 5.80 meters and secured the bronze medal in the 2020 Rome Diamond League on Friday.

The 24-year old Obiena tied with Ben Broeders in the 5.80-meter clearance, but the Belgian got the silver after completing the height in two attempts. The Filipino needed three attempts to tally his new season-best.

Armand Duplantis of Sweden made history in his gold medal finish after clearing a world record 6.15 meters in the competition. He broke the 26-year world record of famed Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka of 6.14 meters.

Obiena started strong in his 5.45 and 5.60 meters clearance, all hurdling them in one attempt. He aced the 5.70-meter mark in his second attempt.

The new season-best record of Obiena is a hairline shy of his personal-best 5.81 meters, recorded in a competition in Chiara, Italy on September 2019. His performance there secured him a slot in the now postponed Tokyo Olympics, the first Filipino to do so.

The Rome competition is Obiena's sixth podium finish in eight tournaments since he started his 2020 season last August. So far, Obiena won a total of one gold, two silvers, and three bronzes.

The 2019 Southeast Asian gold medalist is expected to compete at the Doha Diamond League on Sept. 24.