Obiena resets Asian Indoor record in Berlin triumph

Posted by watchmen
February 26, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


ERNEST JOHN OBIENA (Facebook photo)
ERNEST JOHN OBIENA (Facebook photo)


Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena picked up his second gold medal in less than a week after his record-setting performance in the ISTAF Indoor Berlin in Germany on Saturday, February 24 (Philippine time).

Obiena, the world’s no. 2 ranked pole vaulter, finished the competition in 5.93 meters to break the previous Asian Indoor pole vault record of 5.92 meters, which was set 26 years ago.

The 6-foot-2 Obiena finished ahead of American Olen Tray Oates, who came in second place with 5.75 meters, and Poland’s Robert Sobera, who ended up with 5.66 meters.

“Indoor [pole vault] season has finally kicked off. Time to knock some rust off,” the former University of Santo Tomas standout said in a social media post after the record-setting victory.

This was Obiena’s second gold in Berlin after also ruling the event in 2021, a year after he ended up in fourth place before finishing runner-up last year to world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden.

This was Obiena’s second pole vault tournament this year, since capturing a gold medal during the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China with a 5.75-meter performance.

Prior to his gold medal win over the weekend, Obiena also had a golden performance in the Memorial Josip Gasparac indoor event on February 20, where he finished with 5.83 meters.

After the Berlin tournament, the 28-year-old Obiena will next see action in the World Indoor Championship slated on March 4 (Philippine time) in Glasgow, Scotland.

All of Obiena’s tournaments were part of his preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, as he hopes to bounce back from a medal-less finish in the 2022 Tokyo Summer Games.

Obiena is one of the four Filipino athletes so far who have earned an Olympic qualification, aside from boxer Eumir Marcial, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Alleiah Finnegan./ASC, WDJ

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