EJ Obiena cops 2 golds in Berlin and Croatia meets, sets new Asian Indoor record

MANILA – Ernest J. Obiena, tTe world’s no. 2 pole vaulter, made it two gold medals last week after winning in ISTAF Berlin early Saturday (PHL) and in Croatia earlier.

Obiena cleared 5.93 meters, marking a new Asian and Philippine records for indoor competitions. EJ broke the 26-year-old record of Igor Potapovich, set at 5.92 meters.

EJ also holds the outdoor record for Asia at 6.00 meters, which he did twice last year.

Obiena’s victory in Berlin comes after his initial triumph in Croatia where he cleared 5.83 meters for the win.

Obiena won the men’s elite gold medal in the Memorial Josip Gasparac, a World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze category event, in Osijek, Croatia on Tuesday last week.

The world’s No. 2 registered 5.83 meters on his first attempt to beat Pedro Buarto of Portugal (5.73m) and Olen Tray Oates of the United States (5.61m).

Obiena moved the bar up to 5.93m but failed in three attempts. He easily cleared the bar at 5.51m and made two attempts at 5.73m.

Buarto made two attempts to achieve his best performance. He tried to clear 5.83m but failed thrice.

After clearing 5.41m on his second try, Oates set the bar at 5.61m which he cleared in one attempt. He was unsuccessful in clearing 5.73m in three attempts.

Obiena has qualified for Paris for his second Olympic appearance after the 2020 Tokyo Games where he made it to the final but failed to reach the podium.

He joined the exclusive six-meter club in pole vault with a golden performance in the Bergen Jump Challenge in Norway last year, setting new Asian and national records after erasing the 5.94m he established in winning the bronze medal at the World Athletics Championship in 2022