EJ Obiena breaks own SEAG pole vault mark for third gold

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Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena (Photo courtesy of Napoli Universiade)
EJ Obiena continued his reign in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, stunning opponents with a historic pole vault performance at Morodok Techo National Stadium.
The third-ranked pole vaulter in the world erased his previous 5.46 mark after leaping 5.65 meters to give the Philippines its 19th gold medal of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia on Monday, May 8.
He set the record in last year's edition of the biennial meet at Hanoi, en route to making it three in a row since the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.
On Facebook, Obiena shared how difficult it was to achieve the feat, given the inclement weather, and expressed his gratitude toward the viewers who watched the event live amid the rain.
"First ChampionshipšŸ†of the year went well. šŸ…Title Defended and broke the SEA Games Record 4 times. Proud of this achievement[,] considering the conditions that we were in. Thank you for everyone that stayed in the rain with us, SEA vaulters," Obiena captioned in his Facebook post.
In his first attempt, officials voided Obiena's 5.20m clearance, claiming he touched the bar as it fell alongside him. Obiena and his team protested to no avail.
The turn of events only fueled the fire inside Obiena as he completed 5.20m on his second try.
Then, the 27-year-old Manila native overcame 5.40m before the competition temporarily halted due to heavy rain.
Despite the pause, it wasn't enough to stop Obiena.
Setting the record anew by clearing 5.55m, Obiena was relentless after pulling off a successful 5.65 leap in his last jump for another SEAG milestone to break the next time around.
Fellow Filipino Elijah Cole was eliminated earlier as he missed 4.90 meters.
Obiena came off a near-perfect indoor season this year ahead of the SEA Games 2023 after collecting six straight medals, including three gold medals in the Orlen Copernicus Cup, Perche En Or, and Orlen Cup, out of seven tournaments.

Last Modified: 2023-May-09 10.37.54 UTC+0800