Ernest John “EJ” Obiena ended his long season with good marks and an impressive showing in the 100th Internationales Stadionfest Athletics Meet at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany early Monday.
In his last competition for the year, the 25-year-old Obiena still managed to finish strong, clearing 5.81 meters on his third attempt to claim fourth place behind three Americans.
United States’ pole vaulters dominated the event, with Sam Kendricks winning on countback from Chris Nilsen as both jumped 5.91 meters and KC Lightfoot taking third with 5.81 in one go.
For Kendricks, he got his first gold medal following his bout with COVID-19, preventing him to join the Tokyo Olympics.
The long preparations since March last year, combined with the length of time that Obiena travelled from Paris, Zurich and Munich over the past five days have taken its toll on him.
Despite the fatigue, Obiena still showed consistency of making the 5.8 to 5.9-meter range.
“Medyo pagod lang, dahil sa dalawang araw na magkasunod na competition. Kahit papaano, mas consistent pa rin siya sa 5.8-meter range,” said Obiena’s father Emerson Obiena.
A day earlier at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck Austria, Obiena set a new personal best and Philippine record for the fourth time in two years, while eclipsing a 29-year-old Asian record as well. In doing so, Obiena breached the 5.9-meter barrier again as he cleared 5.93 meters at the Austrian tourney, which he ruled.
In the process, Obiena smashed the Asian record of 5.92 meters set by Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan in June 1992 in France.
Last Friday, Obiena vaulted to 5.83 meters on his second attempt to settle for fourth position in the Diamond League’s 14th and final leg in Zurich, Switzerland.
“This is the end of a long season. For EJ and most of the others, it has been a non-stop series of travels, trainings, living out of suitcases since April,” said James Lafferty, one of Obiena’s coaching consultants for strength and conditioning.
“EJ has a well-deserved break coming up and we are looking forward to having him in Dubai and shifting his training around. More recovery, more yoga, more time to reflect on these past months and get focused for 2022,” added Lafferty.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.