By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Some good things never last.
That proved true for pole vaulter EJ Obiena who failed to make to the podium for first time in seven tries in the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais at the Arena Stade Couvert in Lievin, France Wednesday, Feb. 15 (Thursday in Manila).
And sadly, it was a disastrous campaign for country’s most bemedalled pole vaulter after finishing dead last in a field of 10 entries.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympian cleared 5.64 meters on his second attempt and it proved to be his best jump for the day and landed in a tie for 8th to 10 places with Belgian Ben Broeders and Frenchman Valentin Lavillenie.
The Tondo native skipped the starting 5.44m height and immediately went to 5.64m, before skipping anew 5.73m to try 5.82m – the qualifying standard that would be used starting July 1 for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
He was unsuccessful, through.
This marked the first time in seven appearances that Obiena failed to finish inside the Top 3. He currently has three gold, two silver and one bronze medals in his indoor season campaign.
World record holder and reigning Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, as expected, ruled the field with 6.01m while Italy’s Claudio Stecchi and Australia’s Kurtis Marschall finished second and third after prevailing via countback with similar 5.82m mark with Americans Jacob Wooten and 2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nilsen.
Other finishers include Dutch standouts Rutger Koppelaar and Menno Vloon with 5.73m.