(UPDATED) Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena set a new personal best and Asian record en route to winning the bronze medal in the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
The 26-year-old Obiena cleared 5.94 meters in the final at Hayward Field to break the record of 5.93 meters that he set in Innsbruck, Austria last September 2021.
He is the first Filipino athlete to win a medal in the world championships.
The six-meter mark remained out of reach for Obiena, however, as he couldn't get off the ground in three attempts to clear the bar.
Swedish superstar Armand Duplantis took gold with a record-setting performance, clearing 6.21 meters in two tries to reset his own mark.
American Chris Nilsen seized the silver in front of the home crowd. He, too, cleared 5.94 meters but took only one attempt. Obiena needed a second attempt at the height after grazing the bar on his way down in his first try.
The bronze was sealed for Obiena after his training partner, former Olympic champion Thiago Braz, failed to clear six meters in what was his first and last attempt at the height. Braz had twice failed to clear 5.94 meters and reserved his last try for the six-meter mark.
A total of 32 pole vaulters competed in the world championships, including former record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France who finished in joint fifth after clearing a season-best of 5.87 meters.
Both Obiena and Braz cleared 5.87 meters in their first try, while Duplantis and Nilsen shockingly missed the mark in their first go at the bar. They both got the height in their second attempts.
Duplantis cleared 5.94 meters in his first try and clinched the gold after both Nilsen and Obiena failed in three attempts to reach the mark.
Afterward, the 22-year-old Swede cleared the 6-meter and 6.06-meter mark in just one attempt. He fell short in his first try at 6.21 meters, but easily cleared it in his second to again rewrite the record books.
This is the first world championship gold for Duplantis, who also topped the podium in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where Obiena placed 11th.