TOKYO Olympics-bound pole vaulter EJ Obiena of the Philippines sustained his solid start in the 2021 campaign, winning another gold medal in Dortmund, Germany, on late Sunday (Manila time).
Mr. Obiena, 25, cleared 5.65 meters, tied with Germany’s Oleg Zernikel, before beating the latter in a jump-off with 5.68 meters to claim the top hardware at the PSD Indoor Meeting.
Also clearing 5.65 meters was German Torben Blech, but he needed more attempts to do so, relegating him to third place.
The win completed a solid showing for Mr. Obiena at the weekend, which also saw him win gold at the ISTAF Berlin Indoor Meet also in Dortmund, where he cleared 5.80 meters, a new national mark.
Mr. Obiena kicked off his bid for the new season last month by clearing 5.62 meters at the Karlsruhe Indoor Meet.
The decorated pole vaulter is currently one of four Filipino athletes already qualified for the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year. The others are gymnast Caloy Yulo and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno.
Mr. Obiena is competing in various tournaments as part of his preparation for his Olympic quest, where he has the chance to get the distinction as the first athlete to give the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal.
He is still eyeing more competitions in the lead-up to the Olympics, including one this week in France. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo