Filipino pole vault sensation, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, added yet another feather to his cap with a Bronze Medal-winning performance at the high-profile Wanda Diamond League series’ fifth leg at the Oslo Bislett Games held on June 15 (June 16 Philippine Standard Time).
This fantastic achievement mirrors the World Athletics Championships in Oregon last year, where Obiena clinched a historic first medal for the Philippines and set a new record for Asia. The impressive 1-2-3 podium finish consisted of World No. 1 Armand Duplantis (Sweden), World No. 2 Christopher Nilsen (USA), and World No. 3 EJ Obiena (Philippines).
Obiena, the 27-year-old champion athlete hailing from Tondo in Manila, had previously surprised the world by outperforming Duplantis in the Brussels event of the Diamond League series in 2022. He also showcased an outstanding performance by bagging a bronze medal at the Lausanne Diamond League event in August last year.
Obiena’s recent achievement of joining the esteemed Pole Vault 6-Metre Club of elite athletes who have cleared this height marks another significant milestone in his career. He is now the 28th member of this prestigious club established in 1989.
Coming fresh off an impressive showing at the Sparebanken Vest Bergen Jump Challenge in Norway, Obiena, rated No. 3 in the world, once again made his presence felt in the Oslo Bislett Games. The competition featured prominent athletes such as world champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden, Americans Chris Nilsen and Sam Kendricks, Ben Broeders of Belgium, 2012 London Olympics champion Renaud Lavillenie, and others.
EJ Obiena secured another medal at the @Diamond_League series – a Bronze from the Oslo Bislett Games. The World No. 3 Filipino pole vault star made the podium together with World No. 1 Armand Duplantis (Norway) & World No. 2 Christopher Nilsen (US) @ejobienapv via @GoodNewsPinas_ pic.twitter.com/QU7rVedoJ8
— Angie Quadra Balibay (@AngieQBalibay) June 16, 2023
Continuing his winning streak, Obiena’s bronze medal in the outdoor season at the Oslo Bislett Games is his fourth consecutive podium finish. Despite being unable to match his record-breaking six-meter vault from the Bergen Jump Challenge five days prior, Obiena comfortably cleared 5.81m at the Norway leg of the Diamond League.
The Filipino star needed just one attempt at each of his first three heights, successfully vaulting over 5.61m, 5.71m, and 5.81m. After consecutive fouls at 5.91m, Obiena decided to skip this height in a bid to break his Asian and national records at 6.01m but was unsuccessful in his final attempt.
Obiena, having achieved the elusive height of six meters, continues to stay focused on these tournaments as he aspires to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. “There’s still a lot of work to do. I see this as one of the marks I needed to surpass… Definitely need to be more consistent moving forward,” he stated.
With his eyes on the Stockholm Diamond League on July 2, a Paris Olympics Qualifier event, the Asian Athletics Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, set from July 12 to 16, and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8, EJ Obiena is undoubtedly a name to watch out for in the world of athletics. His unwavering dedication and exemplary performance have made him a beacon of inspiration for aspiring athletes across the globe.
WATCH EJ Obiena’s medal-winning pole vaulting here and SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below and WELL WISHES as he continues his journey to the 2024 Olympics!
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