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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Obiena resets PHL record in Paris meet

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OLYMPIAN Ernest John “EJ” Obiena cleared 5.91 meters not only to bag a silver medal at the Wanda Diamond League on Sunday at the Stade Charlety in Paris, but more importantly to set a new Philippine men’s pole vault record.

Obiena’s father Emerson Obiena relayed his son’s milestone in the outdoor tournament in Paris, where Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Armand Duplantis clinched gold with a 6.01-meter performance.

Obiena established the new national record in his first attempt, breaking the previous standard of 5.87 meters he himself set in a pre-Olympic competition in Poland last June. He attempted 5.96 meters but fouled twice and also went for 6.01 meter but also missed.

“At last, he finally made it, although it didn’t happen there [in the Olympics],” Emerson, a former national pole vaulter, said. “He’s still in the ‘the learning process’ coming off his 11th finish at the Tokyo Olympics early this month.”

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the US tallied 5.81-meter for the bronze medal while Sam Kendricks, also of the US, posted 5.73-meter for fourth place.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association President Dr. Philip Ella Juico congratulated Obiena for his stellar performance, saying “you may not always win gold or silver or even a bronze but you can always improve on your earlier performance to raise the bar.”

“We are extremely happy with EJ Obiena’s latest record breaking performance that he achieved in Paris,” Juico said in a statement. “This new Philippine record achieved our goal for our athletes of constantly striving to improve.”

Obiena travels to Brussels for the continuation of the series on Friday and to Zurich for more competitions on September 8 and 9.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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