EJ Obiena sets new Asian record in Austria tilt

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2021 09:57 AM

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

EJ Obiena recorded a new personal best and reset the Asian record in the process when he cleared 5.93-meters at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Austria on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

The mark also guaranteed the gold medal for Obiena in the meet in Innsbruck.

Obiena's previous personal best -- and the previous national record -- was 5.91-m, set during the Paris leg of the Diamond League on August 28.

He broke the longstanding Asian record of 5.92-m, set by Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan in June 1992 in an event in France.

Obiena had three tries to clear 5.93-m and fouled in his first two attempts, but was successful in his third and last to make history for the Philippines and Asia.

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Obiena, who made the finals of the pole vault in the Tokyo Olympics, showed his appreciation for the Innsbruck crowd who cheered wildly as he secured the victory.

"Deep in my heart, thank you very much," the 25-year-old said.

American Matt Ludwig finished in second place with 5.60-m. Turkey's Ersu Sasma also cleared the same height, but needed two attempts to do so.

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