PATAFA hails Obiena's record-breaking feat

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2021 03:28 PM

Philippines' Ernest John Obiena in action during the men's pole vault.
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena in action during the men's pole vault. Benoit Tessier, Reuters

.MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) on Sunday commended pole vaulter EJ Obiena after he reset his own national record in the Paris leg of the Wanda Diamond League.

Obiena cleared a personal-best 5.91-meters, breaking his own record that he set in June at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Poland. The previous mark was 5.87-m.

"We are extremely happy with EJ Obiena's latest record-breaking performance, achieved in Paris," PATAFA President Philip Ella Juico said in a statement.

"This Philippine record achieved our goal for our athletes of constantly striving to improve. You may not always win gold or even silver or bronze but you can always improve on your earlier performance and raise the bar," he added.

Obiena finished second in the Paris leg, behind Olympic champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden who cleared a meet record of 6.01-m. 

His effort earned Obiena 16 qualifying points, putting him fourth among the pole vaulters who are looking to make the Diamond League finals in Zurich on September 8-9. There is one qualifying meet left, set for September 3 in Brussels.

Currently leading the pack is Duplantis (36 points), followed by Americans Sam Kendricks (34 points) and Christopher Nilsen (17 points).

"Obiena finished second, but he established a new record, breaking the old one that he himself established in June in Poland, while preparing for the Tokyo Olympics," said Juico.

"We note, by the way, the huge crowd watching the competition. That could have fueled the adrenaline he needed," he added.

The Paris meet was Obiena's second competition since coming in 11th place in the Tokyo Olympics. 

Last week in Lausanne, he finished in joint fifth place.

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