HomeGood SportPhilippines' EJ Obiena Shatters 26-Year-Old Asian Indoor Pole Vault Record at ISTAF...

Philippines’ EJ Obiena Shatters 26-Year-Old Asian Indoor Pole Vault Record at ISTAF Berlin

Cypher Learning
Cypher Learning
EJ Obiena Asian Indoor Pole
JUST IN: Filipino champion pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena has just broken another Asian Record and set multiple new records in his second competition of the year. Videos and Screengrabs from ISTAF Berlin livestream via rbb24.

BREAKING NEWS: The Philippines’ Ernest John “EJ” Obiena set the bar higher to break the quarter of a century-old Asian Indoor Record while adding a major athletics event title, a new season best record, and a new national record. The man from Manila won as the headliner pole vaulter at the ISTAF Indoor Berlin in Germany, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver event.

EJ Obiena’s journey to the top was witnessed by over 12,000 spectators gathered at Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Arena and watching around the world on livestream early morning of February 24, 2024, PhST (February 23 evening in Berlin), a date that will now be etched in world sports history.

Obiena’s Remarkable Victory

The 1.88-meter-tall man from Tondo began his journey at the ISTAF Indoor Berlin with a strategic move, skipping the first two heights and clearing 5.56 meters on his first attempt. This decision catapulted him to the top of the 9-man field, setting the stage for a thrilling competition.

Asia’s top athlete soared to another impending victory at only his second jump after skipping another two heights and clearing 5.82 meters in one try. The same bar height won him the silver in last year’s edition, just next to world champion Armand Duplantis.

His closest challenger, Tray Oates from the USA, challenged Obiena and attempted to match the same height once, but failed. The American then tried to better the Filipino’s feat by attempting 5.88m twice but again failed. Oates settled for second place with 5.75 meters, leaving EJ Obiena from the Philippines as the last man standing at the ISTAF Berlin Indoor Pole Vault.

SEE the full results of ISTAF Berlin in this post:

Breaking Records and Setting New Goals

Obiena did stop his feat at getting the ISTAF Berlin title and challenged himself to set the bar higher at 5.93 meters to surpass his current season-best record of 5.83m established three days ago when he won the Memorial Josip Gašparac in Osijek, Croatia.

More importantly, clearing the higher bar would reset the Asian Indoor Record of 5.92m held by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich for 26 years set in Stockholm, Sweden in 1998. Obiena unsuccessfully attempted to break the record in Osijek. The World No. 2 in Men’s Pole Vault holds the distinction of breaking the Kazakhstani’s Asian Outdoor Record at the same height and held for 23 years as he won the Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria last 2021.

The 28-year-old Obiena went on to break the Asian Indoor Record in two attempts amidst the cheers of the capacity crowd at the venue in Berlin.

Obiena challenged himself once more by setting the bar higher at 6.03m to beat Duplantis’ current world record by one centimeter. Egged on by the wildly cheering crowd, the only Filipino and Asian member of the elite 6-metre club made three attempts but did not make the height.

WATCH EJ Obiena’s jumps to victory at ISTAF Berlin in this tweet:

Obiena’s Reflections and Future Aspirations

Reflecting on his performance, Obiena expressed contentment and a hunger for more. “I am happy. I still have more left in the tank and want to jump six meters indoors. The spectators pushed me, it was a lot of fun again here at the ISTAF INDOOR. Unfortunately, I ran out of strength at 6.03 meters,” said Obiena in the ISTAF Berlin report.

The Good News Pilipinas 2023 Filipino Pride in athletics‘ multiple feats at the ISTAF Berlin, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Silver event, comes after winning his first competition this year at the Memorial Josip Gašparac in Osijek, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze event. Obiena has been on a limited season staying away from the limelight and competitions as he prepares to represent the Philippines and bid for the gold at the Paris Olympics this July.

World No. 2 Obiena’s victory in Germany is giving the right push for the World Silver Medalist in Men’s Pole Vault who is set to challenge World Champion Mondo Duplantis at the World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled for March 3 in Glasgow, Scotland, on his way to the Summer Games in Paris, France.

WATCH this full video to celebrate EJ Obiena’s historic win and record-breaking performance by sharing this article. Let’s support him as he continues to soar to new heights and represent the Philippines globally.


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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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