MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena won the first gold medal of the indoor season at the Perche en Or in Roubaix, France, on Sunday, January 29 (Manila time).
Obiena easily captured the gold by clearing 5.82m on his first attempt. He defeated China’s Yao Jie, who threw a personal best of 5.75m and placed Ethan Cormont in third place with 5.65m. Obiena attempted but failed to clear 5.90m. The competition was part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Challenger subgroup.
|Ernest John “EJ” Obiena bagged the first gold in the 2023 indoor season | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ EJ Obiena|
Obiena’s victory came just days after he took silver at the International Jump Meeting in Cottbus, Germany, with a jump of 5.77m. The result fell short of his personal best of 5.91 meters, which he achieved in Rouen, France, in the previous year.
Obiena currently ranks as the 3rd-best pole vaulter in the world, according to the World Athletics rankings. He rose in the rankings when he snagged the bronze medal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon. His 5.94m record in the competition placed him first in Asia.
The Tokyo Olympian will compete in a number of tournaments as part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold in 2023. This includes the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland, the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in Lievin, France, and the World Indoor Tour Madrid.
— Sally, The Summit Express