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Obiena pole vaults to golden finish in Orlen Cup in Poland


IT was another day at the office for World No. 3 pole-vaulter EJ Obiena.

The Filipino world championship bronze medalist brought his winning ways from Uppsala, Sweden to Lodz, Poland a few days ago with a golden effort at the 2023 Orlen Cup Saturday.

The Asian record-holder cleared 5.77 meters (m) to upstage former two-time world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States and hometown bet Piotr Lisek, who posted identical 5.70m.

Mr. Kendricks eventually hauled the silver while Mr. Lisek the bronze after edging Italian Caludio Michel Stecchi via count back.

“Happy to take the gold medal here today (Saturday). It was a difficult battle, both physically and mentally,” said Mr. Obiena on his social media account.

It came just a few days after he matched the national indoor record of 5.91m and copped the bronze in the Mondo Classic 2023 in Uppsala that was topped by pole vault demigod Armand Duplantis of Sweden.

In all, it was the second gold for Mr. Obiena and fourth podium finish in as many meets to start the year.

He hopes to haul more as he plunges back into action in the Copernicus Cup Wednesday in Torun, Poland.

Mr. Obiena is using these tournaments to prepare for the one thing that he dreamed about the most — a medal in next year’s Paris Olympics. — Joey Villar

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