EJ Obiena marches to Tokyo Olympics men's pole vault final

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 31) – Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena reached the Tokyo Olympics men's pole vault final after hurdling the 5.75-meter mark in the qualification round Saturday at the Tokyo National Stadium.

The 25-year-old Obiena hurdled the 5.50 and 5.65 meter marks in one attempt.

Obiena, however, had a nerve-wracking performance in the 5.75 meters when he committed fouls in his first two attempts. In his last try, he breezed through the clearance and was enough for him to book a spot in the final round.

Obiena tied with United States' KC Lightfoot, Australia's Kurtis Marschall, 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Renauld Lavillenie of France, and Emmanouil Karalis of Greece atop the Group A of the qualification round with all clearing 5.75 meters. Lightfoot, Marschall, and Lavillenie cleared it in one try while Karalis aced it on his second try.

The men's pole vault final is on August 3 at 6:20 p.m. Philippine time. Obiena will face the likes of world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, training partner and 2016 Rio Olympics champion Thiago Braz of Brazil, and Dutch pole vaulter Menno Vloon.