EJ goes for world No. 2 ranking in France


WITH a ticket to Paris safely tucked in his belt, Ernest John “EJ” Obiena now goes for the No. 2 ranking in the world when he competes in the Meeting International de Sotteville on Saturday morning at the Jean Adret Stadium in Sotteville-Les-Rouen near Paris, France.

Obiena has amassed 1,422 points early in the season, the same numbers world No. 2 Chris Nelson of the US has tallied so far.

World and Olympic champion and world record holder Armand Duplantis is at No. 1 with 1566 points based in the World Athletics rankings.

“EJ is motivated to do well.  He is now in a statistical ‘tie’ with Chris Nilsen for second rank in the world after Mondo,” Jim Lafferty, Obiena’s adviser, told BusinessMirror on Friday. “So he wants to do well in France and lock down the No. 2  spot.”

The start list at Sotteville includes Rio Olympics gold medalist Thiago Braz da Silva, hometown bets Renaud Lavillenie, Thibaut Collet, Anthony Ammiratti, Alioune Sene and Baptiste Thiery, Australia’s Kurtis Marschall, Saudi Arabia’s Hussein Assem Al-Hizam and the Netherlands’ Menno Vloon.

Obiena and Duplantis were the first pole vaulters to qualify for Paris after they broke the Olympic standard last Sunday in Stockholm—Duplantis at 6.05 meters and Obiena at  5.82, the qualifying height.

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