Pole vault: EJ Obiena wins bronze in Monaco amid tough field


Posted at Aug 15 2020 06:13 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2020 06:35 AM

EJ Obiena of the Philippines took home the bronze medal at the Wanda Diamond League in Monaco early Saturday (Philippine time).

He cleared 5.70 meters on his second attempt, relegating him to third place behind Ben Broeders of Belgium who had a similar outcome but pulled it off in one try for the silver.

Sweden's Armand Duplantis copped the gold in a competition supervised by World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field.

Obiena's feat came amid a field that included world-record holder and No. 1 ranked Duplantis, and Olympic champion Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil, who finished fifth.

Reigning 2-time world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States was also listed as part of the roster, but did not start reportedly because of equipment issues.

It was a solid showing by Obiena, whose medal aspirations in the Olympics were put on hold after the 2020 Tokyo Games were rescheduled for next year.

Obiena, the first Filipino to qualify for the Japan Games, got in with a 5.81 clearance, the national record.

He tallied 5.45 meters when he won the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Obiena, who trains with da Silva, currently resides in Italy where he is preparing for next year's Olympics.

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