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Obiena bags 2nd gold in Poland tilt ahead of Paris Olympics

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Ernest John “EJ” Obiena flexed his fine form with the Paris Olympics fast approaching.

The Tondo, Manila-born pole vaulter clinched his second consecutive gold medal at the Memorial Czeslawa Cybulskiego on Sunday evening (Manila time) in Poznan, Poland.

Standing at 6-foot-2, Obiena cleared 5.87 meters, setting a new meet record. This impressive feat surpassed the 5.8-meter performance of local favorite Piotr Lisek, which had been set the previous year.

Ranked world no. 2, Obiena’s second gold medal came just two days after his 5.97-meter victory, which secured him first place in Bydgoszcz.

“Back-to-back competitions in Poland were definitely a blast,” Obiena shared in a social media post earlier on Monday.

Utilizing new poles over the past two weeks, Obiena outperformed Lisek, who cleared 5.82 meters. Saudi Arabia’s Hussain Al-Hizam claimed the bronze with a height of 5.62 meters.

Obiena, preparing for the Paris Olympics next month, attempted to set a new Philippine national record but narrowly missed the 6.01-meter mark in three attempts.

Two weeks ago, Obiena received a new set of poles, arranged for him by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association and its president, Terry Capistrano. The new set of eight poles arrived on June 15 in Italy and was personally delivered by fellow pole vaulter Ed Lasquete.

Meanwhile, Janry Ubas, who is on an Olympic qualification campaign, secured a gold medal in the men’s long jump at the 33rd Qosanov Memorial in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The 30-year-old Ubas soared to a height of 7.56 meters, dominating the 13-player field and surpassing his closest competitors, Georgia’s Lasha Gulelauri and Kyrgyzstan’s Timur Isakov. Gulelauri took the silver with 7.31 meters, while Isakov earned the bronze with 7.23 meters.

Ubas’ recent performance eclipsed his previous gold medal win at the Thai Championships in Pathum Thani, Thailand last week, where he jumped 7.51 meters.


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