EJ Obiena double victories in Poland with Copernicus Cup title retention

EJ Obiena Copernicus Cup title
World bronze medalist EJ Obiena just before clearing 5.87 meters at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland. Screengrab from 2023 Orlen Copernicus Cup World Athletics streaming.

Ernest John “EJ” Obiena wrapped up his Poland tour with double victories after successfully defending his title at the Orlen Copernicus Cup, the third leg of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold.

The World No. 3 men’s pole vaulter from the Philippines secured the gold medal against Europe’s Olympians and World medalists and was the only one among the 11 competitors to clear 5.87 meters on the high bar at the Torun Arena.

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The winning mark executed on February 8, 2023 (February 9 Philippine time) improved Obiena’s 2022 Copernicus Cup-gold-winning height of 5.81 meters. Second place went to Rutger Koppelaar of the Netherlands and Ben Broeders of Belgium who both cleared 5.82 but placed as such on countback.

EJ Obiena cleared 5.62m and 5.77m each on single attempts before making the event-winning height on his second try. He went on to try 5.92m once, which could have bettered his 5.91m Asian and National Indoor Record. When the last competitor, Menno Vloon of the Netherlands, resigned after two failed attempts at the same height, the Philippines’ champion then proceeded to twice try clearing the height of 5.95 meters to upgrade the Asian Record and National Outdoor Record of 5.94m which he established with a bronze-winning jump at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, USA.

The 27-year-old Filipino athlete is in fine form, picking up wins and podium finishes in all six European competitions he joined at the start of the 2023 season. EJ Obiena now has a total of 4 victories – Copernicus Cup (Poland), Orlen Cup Lodz (Poland), Perche en Or Roubaix (France), 5-6 National Indoor Meeting Padova (Italy), a silver from the International Springer Meeting (Germany), and a bronze from the Mondo Classic (Sweden).

World bronze medalist EJ Obiena is the only competitor to clear 5.87 meters at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland. Screengrab from 2023 Orlen Copernicus Cup World Athletics streaming.

EJ Obiena went on social media after the Copernicus Cup to thank his supporters and to say he is “still fighting”. Although he is the Asian Record holder in men’s pole vault, the pride of Tondo in Manila is forced to forego participating in the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship to be held in Kazakhstan this weekend because of transport concerns for his poles and his ongoing financial difficulties due to delays in the expected financial support from the Philippine government.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below & WATCH EJ Obiena successfully defend his Copernicus Cup title here:

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