HomeGood SportPhilippines' EJ Obiena takes ISTAF Indoor Berlin podium with World No. 1

Philippines’ EJ Obiena takes ISTAF Indoor Berlin podium with World No. 1

EJ Obiena ISTAF Indoor Berlin podium
EJ Obiena continues to carry the Philippines’ colors in international tournaments amid the lack of official financial support for the national athlete. Screengrab from ISTAF Indoor Berlin.

The Philippines’ star athlete Ernest John “EJ” Obiena took his spot on the ISTAF Indoor Berlin podium over the weekend, picking up the silver medal next to the World’s No. 1 pole vaulter.

The World No. 3 men’s pole vaulter from Tondo in Manila claimed 2nd place next to the World No. 1-ranked Armand Duplantis of Sweden who was the only competitor in the 8-man field to clear 6.06 meters. The two champions picked up medals (gold for Duplantis, bronze for Obiena) at the Mondo Classic in Sweden in early February – their first meeting after Obiena defeated Duplantis at the Wanda Diamond League Outdoor tournament in Brussels held in September 2022.

EJ Obiena cleared 5.82 meters on the high bar in just one attempt at the world’s biggest indoor track & field tournament which gathered nearly 12,000 spectators at Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Arena on February 10, 2023 (February 11 Philippine time). His single attempt edged out Olympic finalist Kurtis Marschall of Australia who passed the same height on two tries.

The 27-year-old first cleared 5.60m on two attempts before executing his successful single jump over 5.82m, improving on his gold-winning jump of 5.80m which earned him the championship in the 2021 edition of the same tournament.

The Asian Indoor Record holder of 5.91m twice attempted to break his own record but decided to forego the 3rd chance after securing the silver when Marschall failed his final jump at the same height.

Live results from ISTAF Berlin. Screengrab from ISTAF Berlin website.

Obiena is on a medal-winning streak in the ongoing 2023 Indoor Season, making podium finishes in all 7 tournaments in Europe. 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), another silver at the ISTAF Indoor Berlin (Germany), and a bronze from the Mondo Classic (Sweden).

EJ Obiena has participated and won medals in all 7 indoor tournaments in 2023, including 4 victories.

EJ Obiena missed the Asian Indoor Athletics held over the weekend due to concerns regarding the transport of his poles and his ongoing financial difficulties caused by delays in the expected financial support from the Philippine government, a situation he also faced last year. Supporters have privately offered to help him out. Still, the athlete said he was unwilling to take more money from Filipino taxpayers who were already officially funding him and would instead wait for the official fund.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS & WELL WISHES in the comments below & WATCH EJ Obiena’s sterling performance at the ISTAF Indoor Berlin!

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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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