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Philippines' Obiena wins gold in pole vault

Ibraheem Al Omari, Reuters

Posted at Apr 22 2019 09:21 AM | Updated as of Apr 22 2019 12:55 PM

Philippines' Obiena wins gold in pole vault

MANILA, Philippines – Ernest John Obiena earned the Philippines its first gold in the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar following a record-breaking performance in the pole vault.

Obiena, 23, set a new national record when he cleared 5.71-meters in his first try.

It was also a new record for the Asian Championships, as Obiena shattered the mark set by Kazkahstan's Grigoriy Yergov (5.70-meters) all the way back in 1993.

 

Zhang Wei (5.66-meters) and Huang Bokai (5.66-meters), both from China, took silver and bronze, respectively.

This marks the first gold medal won by a Filipino in the continental meet since Marestella Torres (long jump) in 2009. In the process, Obiena also qualified to the World Championships in September.

Speaking to the Varsitarian, Obiena said: "This one is sweet, because I have not yet won in this competition, and after my injury, I didn't even think that it is possible."

Obiena suffered an ACL tear ahead of the Southeast Asian Games in 2017.

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