EJ Obiena reaches new heights in 6-meter golden vault in Norway

TomasinoWeb
2 min readJun 11, 2023

By Rob Andrew L. Dongiapon

Photo from EJ Obiena

UST alumnus EJ Obiena has risen to another stratosphere as he cleared 6.0 meters in just a single attempt to top the Sparebanken Vest Bergen Jump Challenge in Norway on Saturday (Philippine time).

Obiena’s superb vault not only bolstered his bid for the 2024 Paris Olympics but it also outdid his previous highest tally of 5.97 he set last year at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.

The win also reset the national and Asian pole vault record as Obiena sets off to be the first and only Asian to grasp the elusive clearance.

Dubbed the “6-meter club”, Obiena has become only the 28th vaulter in history to achieve such a feat, joining the likes of world record holder and reigning Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis of Sweden (6.22m), 2016 Rio Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil (6.03m), and Ukrainian vaulting legend Sergey Bubka (6.15m).

The exclusive company also boasts Obiena’s counterparts in the tournament KC Lightfoot and Sam Kendricks of the USA, who both only finished behind the Filipino to settle for silver and bronze, respectively.

Lightfoot finished the same height as Obiena’s, but it took the American two attempts to do so, giving the upper hand to the Filipino.

With the victory, Obiena boosted his chances of securing a slot in the Paris Games next year, where the entry standard for the event is 5.82 meters.

While the Olympic qualification period is still on July 1, the current world number three pole vaulter will gear up for another showcase at Norway’s Bislette Games on June 15.

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