By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
Filipino pole vault start Ernest John “EJ” Obiena (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Ernest John “EJ” Obiena has reset the Asian record for the highest leap in pole vault en route to capturing the gold medal in the Golden Roof Challenge in Austria early Sunday (Philippine Time).
Obiena breached past 5.93 meters, eclipsing the old continental record of 5.92 set by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1998.
Obiena actually was not required to go for it as the rest of the field were already eliminated from gold medal contention after 5.8 meters.
But with the Asian record already within reach after finally getting past 5.9 two weeks ago in the Wanda Diamond League Paris leg, he opted to attempt for Asian history again.
Obiena missed out on his first two attempts, but in his final shot, he finally cleared 5.93 meters, etching his name in Asian pole vault history books.
He was fresh from a fourth-place finish in the final of the Wanda Diamond League in Zurich earlier this weekend.
Coming in at second place is American Matt Ludwig, edging eventual bronze medalist Ersu Sasma of Turkey via tiebreaker.
Both pole vaulters settled for 5.6-meter finishes, but Ludwig took the silver after clearing it in one attempt, whereas Sasma needed two tries to clear the height. (PNA)