By Tracy Cabrera
Bronze medalist EJ Obiena of Team Philippines poses during the medal ceremony for the Men’s Pole Vault on day 10 of the World Athletics Championships on Oregon 22 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo courtesy: Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP)
EUGENE, OREGON — For some, he may have won just a bronze medal but in doing so and grabbing third honor at the World Athletics Championship in the United States, Pinoy athletic stalwart Ernest John Obiena reset the Philippine men’s pole vault record, including that in Asia, en route to his best finish in Eugene, Oregon.
Sports fans must also realize that Obiena has now become the first Filipino to win a medal in the prestigious meet by clearing the 5.94-meter bar in his second attempt to finish third behind American pole-vaulter Christopher Nielsen, who cleared the same height but bagged the silver after the count back.
Top honors went to Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden who grabbed the gold by setting a new world mark of 6.21 meters.
Obiena tried to clear the bar at 6.00 meters but failed in three attempts. His previous best jump was 5.93 meters, which he set at the International Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria on September 12, 2021.