EJ Obiena joins fellow Olympic-bound pole vaulters in Dutch tourney

Published June 5, 2021, 12:56 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

EJ Obiena

EJ Obiena joins some fellow Olympic-bound pole vaulters including world record-holder Armand Duplantis when they compete in the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands on Sunday, June 6.

Obiena, 25, hopes to carry the momentum of his golden performance at the Gothenburg Grand Prix in Sweden a few days back where he posted 5.70 meters ahead of reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz (5.65m).

This would be Obiena’s second tournament in the outdoor season as he intensifies his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled July 23 to Aug. 8.

Aside from the world No. 1 Swedish superstar, Obiena will face fellow Olympic qualifiers Ben Broeders of Belgium, Harry Coppell of Great Britain, home crowd bet Menno Vloon and Braz.

Also seeing action are United States’ Cole Walsh, Sweden’s Melker Svard Jacobsson, Norway’s Paul Haugen Lillefosse and Dutch Rutger Koppelaar.

Duplantis boasts of a current world outdoor record of 6.15 meters he posted at a meet in Rome last year that shattered Sergey Bubka’s 26-year-old mark. The 21-year-old also holds the world indoor record of 6.18m.

Obiena, for his part, currently holds the national record of 5.81m after clinching an Olympic berth in Chiara, Italy two years ago.

Braz has a personal best of 6.03m that won him the gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Vloon and Coppell have 5.85m.