MANILA – EJ Obiena added another gold medal to his collection this year as he ruled the Liechtenstein leg of the Golden Fly Series early Monday (Philippine Time).
In his last outdoor event for the year and the penultimate this season, the world No. 3 pole vaulter easily edged his opponent as he leapt the highest at 5.71 meters.
The silver medalist, United States' Olen Oates, could only jump to as high as 5.61 meters.
With the championship already in the bag, Obiena, who stunned the world earlier this month when he pulled off a giant slaying against world No. 1 Mondo Duplantis, tried to duplicate what the Swedish champ could do on a regular basis prior to his huge off-night that led to the Filipino's win, leaping at six meters.
Obiena fouled on all his three attempts, but Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino believes it will not take long before Obiena becomes the first Asian to breach the elite mark.
"It was really that close," Tolentino said, pertaining to Obiena's third try. "No problem, he still wins the meet with 5.71m. EJ's beat years is ahead of him."
Austrian pole vaulter Riccardo Klotz won the countback against Americans Austin Miller and Nate Richartz for the bronze as they all reached 5.51 meters each. (PNA)