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EJ Obiena shatters 20-year Asian pole vault record, bags gold in Austria

By Hannah Mallorca Published Sep 12, 2021 12:00 pm

EJ Obiena has eclipsed the current Asian pole vaulting record when he cleared 5.93-m at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Austria on Saturday, Sept. 11 (Sunday, Sept. 12, Philippine standard time).

Obiena’s impressive record secured his gold medal win at the pole vaulting meet in Innsbruck, Austria.

The Filipino shattered the 20-year Asian record of 5.92-m set by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1998. He also broke his personal and national record of 5.91-m, which was established during the Paris leg of the Diamond League on Aug. 28.

The 25-year-old pole vaulter was given three attempts to clear 5.93-m and fouled in his first two tries. 

Despite this, he was able to surpass the 5.93-mark on his final try to rewrite history in the Philippines and Asia. 

“I wanted this one so bad. I couldn't have done it without all of you guys,” Obiena said, as he thanked the Innsbruck crowd for their support.

USA’s Matt Ludwig came in at second place while fellow Olympian Ersu Sasma of Turkey ranked third, who both cleared 5.60-m. Ludwig cleared 5.60 meters in one attempt, while it took Sasma three tries. 

Other pole vaulters who competed in the event include Austria's Riccard Klotz and Netherlands' Menno Vloon.

Banner and thumbnail photo: Philippines' Ernest John Obiena competes during the men's pole vault event at The Diamond League AG Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting at The King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Sept. 3, 2021. JOHN THYS / AFP