Filipino pole vault maestro, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, is painting the sky gold with his phenomenal performances in Germany, clinching gold medals back-to-back and elevating the pride of the nation globally. Obiena delivered golden jumps at the ISTAF Berlin and NetAachen Domspringen cathedral jumping that reverberated across continents, manifesting the might and grace of the Filipino athlete on the grandest stages.
The Philippines’ pole vault champion is now on another medal streak after his successive wins in Germany. EJ Obiena delivered his double gold-winning jumps within days of a historic World Championships silver finish and a short interval non-podium finish in Switzerland that ended this year’s medal streak. But Germany embraced the man from Tondo in Manila and gave him the stages to add to his medal haul again, this time making it a gold streak.
The Philippines' pole vault champion EJ Obiena @ejobienapv is on another medal streak after winning back-to-back Gold Medals in Germany, clearing the towering height of 5.92 meters at the @ISTAF_Berlin and NetAachen Domspringen. Full story up next on @GoodNewsPinas_ pic.twitter.com/ardNSq1qu8
— Angie Quadra Balibay (@AngieQBalibay) September 7, 2023
A Historic Gold at ISTAF Berlin
In the iconic Berlin Olympic Stadium, a place brimming with history and vitality, EJ Obiena turned dreams into reality on September 3, 2023. Standing gallantly as the new World No. 2 in men’s pole vault rankings, he secured his inaugural gold at the prestigious ISTAF Berlin, a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence. ISTAF Berlin called the tilt an airshow where five pole vaulters of the elite 6-Meter Club were in competition, including Obiena, the most recent addition to the 28-member club of vaulters who cleared the towering height.
The victory bore a special significance as it came after years of relentless effort, symbolizing the culmination of unwavering determination. The Filipino pride in pole vault said he especially valued his victory at the ISTAF Berlin Outdoor tilt after vying for the top medal for three successive years and finally winning an ISTAF Berlin Indoor silver medal in 2022.
The moment was made even more poignant with the Philippine flag waving in the vast 34,000-seater stadium, greeting him with a heartwarming “Maligayang Pagdating” – a touching tribute to the strength and spirit of the Filipino people.
“Finally got this outdoor trophy after so many years of coming up short.
Finally @istaf_indoor trophy would have his bigger brother, @istaf_berlin trophy after 3 years,” Obiena posted on social media after winning his 12th medal out of 13 outdoor meets this season.
Standing at an imposing 1.88 meters, Obiena launched to clear 5.92 meters on his third valiant attempt, the only competitor to clear the height amid a 12-man field of the world’s best pole vaulters that included silver winner Sondre Guttormsen of Norway and bronze finisher KC Lightfoot of the United States who both cleared 5.82m but were placed according to countback.
WATCH EJ Obiena clear 5.92 meters at ISTAF Berlin here:
A Picturesque Triumph at Cathedral Jumping in Aachen
Merely three days later on September 6, in the historic city of Aachen, Obiena triumphed once again, this time in the scenic setting flanked by the grand cathedral Aachener Dom and the stoic Rathaus Aachen City Hall. At the NetAachen Domspringen event, a feat of strength met artistic grandeur as Obiena soared gracefully, reaching a near-record height of 5.92 meters, a performance second only to German stalwart Björn Otto’s 2012 record.
This poetic victory echoed Obiena’s golden performance at another cathedral jumping event at the 2022 L’Aquila leg of the European City of Sports, showcasing a consistent brilliance in his craft. Obiena shared his joy with his followers, delightfully calling the event a “beautiful competition” while sharing a clip of his sky-touching jump synchronized with the spirited “Bagsakan” by Chito Miranda, infusing the performance with a vibrant Filipino touch.
Once more, Obiena displayed his supremacy in the sport as the only athlete to clear the highest bar height. The silver went to American Sam Kendricks (5.87m) and the bronze to Frenchman Thibault Collet (5.82m).
WATCH EJ Obiena’s Cathedral Jumping Gold here:
Looking to the Future: An Upcoming Defense at the Wanda Diamond League
As the golden days of September unfurl, Obiena prepares to showcase his soaring talent yet again. With sights set on defending his title won last year at the expense of World No. 1 Armand Duplantis at the prestigious Wanda Diamond League in Brussels on the 9th of September, the anticipation builds.
Following his Belgium tilt, the globe-trotting champion has his itinerary packed with more high-flying appointments as he continues his medal hunt this September, including the September 16th/17th Diamond League finals in Eugene, Oregon, USA, and the highly anticipated September 30th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, promising more breathtaking moments in the sky.
As we stand witness to EJ Obiena’s awe-inspiring journey, every leap he takes is a leap for the Philippines, a leap showcasing the indomitable spirit and strength of the Filipino people on the world stage.
Feel the pride and exhilaration surge as EJ Obiena takes the world by storm, one gold medal at a time. SHARE THIS ARTICLE with your friends and family, and let us rally behind our very own pole vault superstar as he soars to new heights, carving out a golden path in the history of sports.
Good News Pilipinas is a Lasallian Scholarum Awardee. TELL US your good news story tips by messaging GoodNewsPilipinas.com on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or e-mailing email@example.com