EJ Obiena wins gold in Berlin meet, shatters PH indoor pole vault record again

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Photo courtest: ISTAF Indoor Athletics/Facebook

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 6) - Filipino pole vault sensation EJ Obiena broke the national indoor pole vault record again as he leaped into a golden finish at the ISTAF Indoor Athletics Meet in Berlin, Germany.

The 24-year-old pole vaulter hurdled the 5.80-meter mark, also his personal best, in the tournament held early Saturday morning (Philippine time).

Obiena previously shattered the Philippine indoor pole vault record on January 30 at the Karlsruhe World Indoor Tour Meeting, when he jumped 5.62 m. He only finished fifth in the competition.

In the Berlin event, Obiena easily hurdled the 5.42 m while reaching the 5.52, 5.62, and 5.72 m marks in his second attempt.

Obiena and Germany's Torben Blech battled for the gold in the 5.80 m mark. The Filipino emerged better as he recorded the new Philippine indoor pole vault record in only one try, while the German got past the mark on his second attempt.

Blech's compatriot Oleg Zernikel took the bronze medal. Obiena also bested veteran Polish pole vaulters Robert Sobera (4th) and Piotr Lisek (5th), Germany's Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (6th), American Matt Ludwig (7th) and former world champion Raphael Holzdeppe (8th).

Obiena is one of the four Filipino athletes who officially qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics along with gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.