HomeGood SportEJ Obiena continues winning streak with Orlen Cup gold, Mondo Classic bronze

EJ Obiena continues winning streak with Orlen Cup gold, Mondo Classic bronze

EJ Obiena Orlen Cup gold
The Philippines’ champion pole vaulter takes off for the bronze in Sweden before claiming the gold in Poland. Screengrabs from official live streams of Mondo Classic (RedBullTV) and Orlen Cup Lodz (TVP).

Filipino champion Ernest John “EJ” Obiena won the 2023 Orlen Cup Łódź gold and Mondo Classic bronze in two successive European competitions over the weekend, continuing his winning streak since the start of the indoor season.

The World No. 3 pole vaulter from Tondo, Manila in the Philippines, successfully defended his Orlen Cup Lodz title in Poland on February 5 (February 4 Poland Time). The win is Obiena’s second gold and fourth medal in as many tournaments in the current indoor season, following his gold victory at the Perche de Or in France and silver finish at the International Springer Meeting in Germany, and bronze win Mondo Classic on February 3 (February 2 Sweden Time).

Orlen Cup Łódź Gold

EJ Obiena was the only one among the 11-man field to clear the height of 5.77 meters and earned the top podium spot, besting Olympic medalist Sam Kendricks of the USA (silver) and Piotr Lisek of Poland (bronze) who both only reached 5.70m and placed respectively on countback (fewer attempts made).

The Asian Record holder claimed his back-to-back win at the Orlen Cup after winning the title in 2022.

Obiena competed at the Atlas Arena in Poland after wrapping up his stint at the IFU Arena in Sweden just two days before – a not-so-easy challenge to meet.

“Happy to take the win here today in Lodz. It was a difficult battle, both physically and mentally,” Obiena posted on social media.

WATCH EJ Obiena’s gold-winning jump here:

Mondo Classic Bronze

EJ Obiena made his podium appearance at the Mondo Classic after reaching the 5.91 meters mark, equaling the Philippine Indoor Record and matching the same height that delivered the stunning upset to World No. 1 Armand “Mondo” Duplantis of Sweden during the Wanda Diamond League in Belgium – the only time the Swede was beaten in the 2022 season.

The Filipino champion was the most-watched among the 10 challengers to Duplantis on his own pole vault gala on home soil and did not disappoint as he had the best record with the fewest attempts (7) next to Duplantis (3): one attempt to clear both 5.52m and 5.67m, two attempts to clear 5.82m, and three attempts to clear 5.91m.

The 23-year-old Duplantis was the only one to clear 6.0m and went on to win the gold. Despite 27-year-old Obiena’s next-best record of fewer attempts overall in the tournament, he had to settle for bronze after being edged out by 23-year-old KC Lightfoot of the USA on countback for the highest mark cleared – Obiena made the last height after 3 attempts while the American cleared it after two tries.

Obiena made two unsuccessful attempts to clear 6.0m before also attempting 6.05 to better the Mondo Classic meet record which Duplantis eventually reset to 6.10m on his way to attempt to break his own world record of 6.21m.

WATCH EJ’s bronze-winning jump at Mondo Classic here:

EJ Obiena will next compete at the Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland on February 8 (February 9 Philippine time), to again defend his title won in 2022. He will no longer lead the Philippine contingent at the Asia Indoor Athletics Meet scheduled for February 10-12 due to logistical difficulties transporting his poles to Kazakhstan.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to EJ Obiena for his continued winning streak at the 2023 Pole Vault Indoor Season in Europe with the Orlen Cup Lodz gold and Mondo Classic bronze!

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.

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