EJ Obiena wins silver in Diamond League final ahead of Asian Games

Men's pole vault silver medallist Philippines' Ernest John Obiena

FILE– Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena . (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)

EJ Obiena duplicated his silver finish on the global stage at the finals of the 2023 Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon behind the record-shattering performance of world pole vault champion Armand “Mondo” Duplantis.

Obiena, who also placed second to the Swede in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary two weeks back, assured himself of another silver medal after clearing 5.82 meters.

Duplantis cleared 6.23m on his first attempt, breaking his own world record for the seventh time by adding one more centimeter.

The Italy-based Obiena, ranked No. 3 in the world, raised the bar to 6.02 but couldn’t hurdle the height thrice.

American Sam Kendricks managed to go over 5.72m to claim the bronze at the tournament that put the cap on this year’s athletics season.

But as for the 27-year-old Obiena, the Asian record holder of six meters has one more meet on his itinerary—the men’s pole vault championship in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China scheduled to officially open on Sept. 23.

Obiena is raring to assert his mastery on the continental level after winning the Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok, Thailand in July.

He hasn’t won an Asian Games title yet and this could be Obiena’s year prior to closing out his own season before preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics kick in.

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