EJ does better this time

August 18, 2020

TOKYO-bound EJ Obiena continued to perform well in COVID-19 times by placing second in a virtual tournament that featured the world's best pole vaulters on Monday.

It was Obiena's second podium finish in the past four days, following up his bronze medal in the Monaco Diamond League over the weekend.

"It has been a fruitful two weeks with three medals, but the gold remain elusive, hope to get them in the coming competitions. Thank you to all 100 countries who tuned in. Philippines, I hope I made you proud," said Obiena through his Facebook page.

Presently training in Formia, Italy, Obiena cleared 5.60 meters on his second attempt. The reigning Asian champion then failed three times to hurdle 5.70 meters and paved the the way for defending Olympic titlist Thiago Braz of Brazil to claim the victory.

Matt Ludwig of the United States settled for the bronze after registering 5.35 meters, while Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland ended up in fourth with 5.20 meters.

The 6-foot-2 standout navigated difficult windy conditions at his training facility that ultimately hindered his attempts at matching his season-best of 5.70 meters during the Diamond League Series last Saturday in Monaco.

“There’s a little bit of wind but when you’re mentally ready, the wind shouldn’t bother you. To be honest, I feel a little bit exhausted but that’s not an excuse for what I did today,” said Obiena after the online event.

“I’m a bit disappointed with what I did. Mentally, I think I’m just a little bit drained. Everything kind of piled up but that’s not a good trait and that’s something I’m trying to work on,” he added.

Obiena finished in third place behind world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden and Ben Broeders of Belgium last Saturday. He also bagged a silver at the Triveneto virtual meet in Trieste with a jump of 5.45 meters.