EJ Obiena bags second gold in Germany

Published February 8, 2021, 12:39 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Photo from ISTAF Indoor’s Instagram account

Olympic-bound pole vaulter EJ Obiena captured another gold medal in over a day after ruling the PSD Bank Indoor Meeting in Dortmund, Germany Sunday night, Feb. 7.

The 25-year-old Filipino prevailed over German Oleg Zernikel in a jumpoff at 5.68m after both posted 5.65m on their first attempt in the seven-man competition.

German Torben Blech also posted 5.65m, but settled for bronze after making it on his third attempt.

Despite Obiena’s golden feat, it was a few centimeters lower than his performance at the ISTAF Indoor Meet in Berlin early Saturday, where he cleared 5.80m for the gold medal and a new national indoor mark.

He first eclipsed his national indoor record at the Karlsruhe World Indoor Tour Meeting also in Germany with 5.62m, but settled for fifth.

This was Obiena’s third tournament in two weeks, using the indoor season as his springboard to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics slated July 23 to Aug. 8.

He is set to compete in the prestigious Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais at the Arena Stade Couvert in Lievin, France this week against some of the world’s best that include current world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France, 2016 Olympic winner Thiago Braz of Brazil and two-time world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States.