Pole vaulter EJ Obiena resets own PH mark

Published August 29, 2021, 12:11 AM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Screenshot from official tournament livestream channel

EJ Obiena reset his own national record in men’s pole vault after finishing second behind Olympic champion Armand Duplantis in the Meeting de Paris Wanda Diamond League Saturday.

Competing before a huge crowd, Obiena cleared 5.91 meters on his first attempt to settle behind Duplantis’ new meet record of 6.01m in this 11-player elite field.

His feat not only eclipsed his PH mark of 5.87m in a Polish meet last June but also redeemed his fifth place finish in the Athletissima Wanda Diamond League in Lausanne, Switzerland two days ago where he posted 5.52m.

It was also better than his 11th place finish in the Tokyo Olympics where he posted 5.70m.

Obiena attempted to clear 5.96m twice but failed, before using his final attempt to try 6.01m. He was also unsuccessful.

United States champion Chris Nilsen, who also won silver in the Tokyo Olympics, came in third with 5.81m, while 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist Sam Kendricks also of the United States finished fourth with 5.73m.

Other finishers were American KC Lightfoot (5.73m), France’s Valentin Lavillenie (5.65m), Poland’s Piotr Lisek (5.55m), France’s Ethan Cormont (5.55m), Australia’s Kurtis Marschall (5.45m) and France’s Renaud Lavillenie (5.30m).

This was Obiena’s second tournament after the Olympics.