EJ Obiena makes a shining silver comeback after placing 11th in the pole vaulting finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Last Saturday, August 28th, Obiena daringly shattered yet another national record and personal best by clearing 5.91 meters in the Paris Diamond League. Although he initially struggled in the earlier part of the competition, taking all three attempts to pass the 5.81-meter mark, Obiena impressed crowds by literally soaring into the new record-breaking height with only one attempt.
“A second-place finish at the Paris 2021 Diamond League, and a new national record and personal best of 5.91m. Thank you God! And thank you to those who keep on supporting and believing despite the ups and downs. Getting there,” posted Obiena on Facebook.
Obiena’s previous record, at 5.87 meters, was achieved just last June when he clinched the silver medal at the Irena Szewinska Memorial / Bydgoszcz Cup in Poland.
As the first Filipino Olympian to compete in pole vaulting, Obiena already made history when he finished as a finalist in Tokyo 2020 at 5.70 meters. However, after breaking his third national record this year, it seems that Obiena’s momentum in the field has only gotten stronger.
After all, despite committing two fouls on the 5.96-meter mark and failing to reach 6.01 meters during his final attempt, Obiena once again demonstrated his determination and ability to compete with the world’s best.
Bagging the silver medal, Obiena finished second only to the Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Armand Duplantis of Sweden, who entered 6.01 meters. In Japan, Duplantis set the world record at the staggering height of 6.18 meters.
Meanwhile, silver Olympic medalist Christopher Nilsen of the USA settled for bronze after scoring 5.81 meters. Reigning world champion Sam Kendricks, who was unable to compete in Tokyo 2020 due to testing positive for COVID-19, finished just off the podium by posting 5.73 meters.