July 24, 2022

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Obiena’s quest for historic first World Athletic medal continues

“JOB’S not finished.”

World No. 6 EJ Obiena hopes to finish what he has started as he resumes his quest for a historic first World Athletics Championships medal in today’s pole-vault finals in Eugene, Oregon in the United States.

The Asian record-holder and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist made it through the top 12 after clearing 5.75 meters in the qualification phase Saturday.

There, he would face the best the world could offer in the sport including the almighty Tokyo Olympic champion and world record-holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden.

Also posing a big threat are American and world No. 2 Christopher Nilsen and Brazilian Thiago Braz, the silver and bronze winners in last year’s Tokyo Games, respectively.

Others in the final cast are Germans Oleg Zernikel and Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, Belgian Ben Broeders, Turk Ersu Sasma, French Renaud Lavillenie, Norweigians Pal Haugen Lillefosse and Sondre Guttormsen, and Dutch Menno Vloon.

“After all of the things that have happened, from missing my supposed to be first World Indoor Championship earlier this year, to contracting COVID-19 a few weeks back, we are here,” said Mr. Obiena.

Mr. Obiena is eyeing to become the first Filipino to snare a medal in the biennial event.

If he could not, he’s hoping to at least surpass the Asian record of 5.93m he himself set in the Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria last year.

That would still be a feat in itself. — Joey Villar