By Ernest Martin Tuazon
Thomasian pole vault star Ernest John Obiena sets a new Asian pole vault record as he cleared 5.94 meters en route to a bronze medal finish at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, Monday morning (Manila time), in Eugene, Oregon.
Obiena became the first Filipino to walk home with a medal at Worlds as he broke his own record of 5.93m which he previously notched at the 17th International Golden Roof Challenge in Austria last September 2021.
Though being damned at his first attempt in the 5.70m jump, the 26-year-old Olympian kept his composure to easily vault through the said height in his second attempt. Obiena carried this momentum in his 5.80m and 5.87m vault where he cleared both heights in one attempt.
The world’s no. six pole vaulter cemented his place on the podium where he successfully vaulted for 5.94m in two attempts, being able to join the US bet Christopher Nilsen and Swedish sensation Armand Duplantis.
Both Obiena and Nilsen were unable to leap through the height of 6.00m, as the Filipino native could not get his feet off the track in all of his three attempts.
Nilsen edged out Obiena for the silver medal as he was able to complete his vault of 5.94m in one attempt, compared to the latter’s two. Duplantis proved his dominance anew as he broke his own world record with a leap of 6.21m to win gold.