by Kristel Satumbaga
Pole Vaulter EJ Obiena is on a roll as he took another gold medal – this time in the Citta Di Padova Athletics Meet in Italy.
Less than a week after posting a new Philippine record at the 2019 Universiade Games, Obiena cleared the 5.55-meter barrier to beat out Theodo Chrysanthopoulos of Greece (5.30m) and Argentina’s German Chiaraviglio (5.30m).
Though his performance was a far cry from his new national mark of 5.76m, Obiena’s feat was still better than the current SEA Games record of reigning gold medalist Porranot Purahong of Thailand (5.35m).
Obiena, 23, will continue his European stint with two more meets in Germany – in Mossingen on Saturday and Leverkusen on July 24.
His European stint is part of his massive buildup for the SEA Games which the country will host later part of the year.
Not only that, he’s also hoping to gauge his skills against the best in the world when he competes in the World Championships and the IAAF Diamond League Finals this September.
But his main target is to hit the 5.80m mark which is the qualifying standard for the Tokyo Games next year.