Ernest John ‘EJ’ Obiena, the Filipino pole vault sensation, demonstrated his prowess at the Monaco leg of the Wanda Diamond League, securing a remarkable silver medal at the Stade Louis-II in Fontvieille, Monaco on an early Saturday, July 22 (Manila time).
Having recently climbed to world no. 2, Obiena soared over the bar at 5.82 meters, securing an impressive second-place finish. The gold medal was claimed by American Christopher Nilsen, who cleared 5.92 meters with exceptional skill.
Interestingly, the competition held a sense of redemption for Nilsen, who was formerly ranked second in the world before being overtaken by Obiena, now at world no. 3.
Aussie Kurtis Marschall also achieved a height of 5.82 meters, but he settled for the bronze medal after a countback, having required two tries to clear 5.72 meters, while Obiena managed it in just one attempt.
Surprisingly, the current world no. 1, Armand ‘Mondo’ Duplantis of Sweden, missed the podium with a surprising clearance of only 5.72 meters. This result was unusual for Duplantis, who is known for effortlessly clearing 6.0 meters.
Duplantis successfully cleared 5.72 meters on his first attempt but encountered difficulties when skipping 5.82 meters and attempting 5.92 meters twice, to no avail. In a bold effort to regain his usual form, he made his final attempt at 6.02 meters but was unable to clear it.
Similarly, Obiena, who started at 5.62 meters and then progressed to 5.82 meters, faced challenges at 5.92 meters, failing to clear it in two tries. With determination, he made a final courageous attempt at 6.02 meters, but unfortunately, it proved unsuccessful. (ai/mnm)