Pole vaulter EJ Obiena captured his second gold medal in the indoor season after ruling the Orlen Cup 2023 in Lodz, Poland Saturday, Feb. 4 (Sunday in Manila).
The world No. 3 Filipino bet cleared 5.77 meters to dominate the 11-player field that boasted some of his fellow 2020 Tokyo Olympians.
Two-time world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States bagged the silver while hometown bet Piotr Lisek clinched the bronze via countback after the two veterans posted identical 5.70m with Italy’s Claudio Michel Stecchi.
Stecchi finished fourth.
It was Obiena’s fourth podium finish this season and was coming off a bronze-medal finish in the prestigious Mondo Classic 2023 in Uppsala, Sweden a few days back.
His recent feat, though, was far from his national indoor record of 5.91m he matched in the said Swedish meet.
Obiena said he was still happy with the victory.
“It was a difficult battle, physically and mentally,” the 27-year-old posted on social media.
Polish Robert Sobera and Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis finished fifth and sixth with 5.51m followed by China’s Huang Bokai, Dutch Rutger Koppelaar, and hometown bets Michael Gawenda and Pawel Wojciechowski with 5.36m.
American KC Lightfoot was unable to register a mark.
Up next for Obiena would be the Orlen Copernicus Cup on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Torun Arena Sports Hall in Torun, Poland.