By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
EJ Obiena continued his quest for a historic podium finish at the World Athletics Championships Saturday after advancing to the final of the pole vault competition in Eugene, Oregon.
The 26-year-old Tokyo Olympian cleared 5.75 meters on his second attempt to qualify along with 11 others that include world record holder Armand Duplantis.
All qualifiers cleared the same height.
Also making it to the final were Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Christopher Nilsen of the United States and bronze winner Thiago Braz of Brazil.
Completing the cast were Germany’s Oleg Zernikel and Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, Belgium’s Ben Broeders, Turkey’s Ersu Sasma, France’s Renaud Lavillenie, Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse and Sondre Guttormsen and Netherland’s Menno Vloon.
Interestingly, eight of the 12 qualifiers also competed in the finals of the Tokyo Olympics and Obiena is also the only Asian to qualify in the final.
The final will be on Sunday (Monday in Manila).