Technical difficulties confronted Ernest “EJ” Obiena in his bid to go higher, but he still grabbed the gold medal in the True Athletics Classics in Leverkusen, Germany on Sunday evening.
The 26-year-old Obiena took the top honors on a better countback result after he cleared the bar at 5.81 meters.
“I know what to work on and I expect 5.95 to come soon, with 6 meters to follow. Like anything in life, this is all about continual improvement,” said Obiena.
Rutger Koppelaar of the Netherlands and Kurtis Marschall of Australia also leaped to same height, but on their second attempts.
Koppelaar claimed the silver medal on the countback after he earlier made the height of 5.73 meters on his second try.
Marschall clinched the bronze after taking 5.73 meters in two attempts and 5.63 meters in three.
The 6’2” Obiena said he later tried to go for 5.95 meters for a new national and Asian record.
“I am very happy to bring home the gold medal against a great field. But on the other hand, I am frustrated by near-misses again at 5.95 meters,” said Obiena in a message to the Manila Standard.
Obiena explained that he needs to make more adjustments in the 5.8 to 6.0 meter range.
“We have boiled it down to some small technical adaptations, which at these heights, make the difference between a miss or a make,” said Obiena in his statement.
It was Obiena’s sixth gold medal in the outdoor meet this year.
Last week, he had a bronze-medal finish at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Switzerland and a gold medal when he jumped 5.81 meters to rule the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting in Jockgrim Germany on Tuesday.
Next for Obiena is the St. Wendel City Jump also in Germany on Wednesday, and the the Memorial van Damme event in Brussels, Belgium on Friday.
Then, Obiena heads to the ISTAF 2022 in Berlin, Germany on Sept. 4, and the Golden Fly event in Schaan, Liechtenstein on Sept. 11.
But Obiena stopped after he missed his clearing at 5.87 meters on three attempts.