EJ Obiena shatters Asian indoor record for ISTAF Berlin 2024 crown

PHOTO: EJ Obiena/Facebook
EJ Obiena scored his second gold medal finish in a row in the 2024 indoor season, thanks to another record-breaking performance.
The current second-ranked pole vaulter broke the over 20-year Asian indoor record established by Kazakhstan's Igor Potapovich to claim the ISTAF Berlin crown on Friday, February 23 (Saturday, February 24, Manila time).
Obiena reset Potapovich's 5.92-meter leap in 1998 after clearing 5.93 meters while erasing his previous personal best and national mark of 5.91m in 2022.
Following his triumph in Germany's capital, the Tondo, Manila native now holds the record for both Asian indoor and outdoor pole vault competitions.
In 2023, Obiena became part of the elite six-meter club after clearing six meters in the Bergen Jump Challenge in Norway last June for the Asian outdoor record.
Then, he repeated the same feat in the World Athletic Championships for a historic silver medal.
Fresh from his victory in the Memorial Josip Gasparac, Obiena started strong by overcoming 5.56m in one try, then doing the same thing in the 5.82m bar.
Obiena's closest competitor in Tray Oates of the United States failed to hurdle 5.82m before raising the bar to 5.88m, which he couldn't overcome with his last two attempts.
This opened the way for Obiena to make history and complete his domination of the nine-man field. The Tokyo 2020 Olympian tried his luck at 6.03m but fell short.
It was the second ISTAF Berlin title for Obiena in four years, with his first in 2021 before placing fourth in 2022 and second to Sweden's Armand Duplantis in 2023.
Oates' 5.75m performance earned the silver – his second straight medal after clinching the bronze in the Croatia tourney – while Poland's Robert Sobera claimed the bronze with 5.66m, beating home bet Torben Blech via countback.
Obiena will head to Glasgow, Scotland to compete in the World Indoor Championships on March 3 as part of his upcoming campaign in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Last Modified: 2024-Jul-14 10.11 +0800