Obiena settles for silver in Diamond League 2023 Finals as Duplantis sets new world record

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PHOTO: EJ Obiena/Facebook
Ernest John "EJ" Obiena settled for a silver medal finish in the Wanda Diamond League (WDL) 2023 final leg at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, United States on Sunday morning, September 17 (Manila time).
Obiena secured second place after clearing 5.82 meters in his second attempt.
However, this is the highest clearance the Asian record holder could achieve for the day as he and the rest of the field were left mesmerized by the historic vault of reigning world champion Armand Duplantis.
The 23-year-old Swedish titan set a new world record of 6.23m in a lone try after beating the 6.02-meter bar, which already assured him of the gold for the second consecutive WDL edition. Duplantis previously leaped 6.22m last February in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Home bet Sam Kendricks completed the podium cast as he cleared 5.72m and beat Australia's Kurtis Marschall and fellow American Chris Nilsen for the bronze via countback, with the two registering an identical mark.
Before the Eugene meet, Obiena clinched the bronze in the Diamond League's Brussels leg in Belgium behind his 5.92-meter effort in three tries. Duplantis ruled the Belgian tiff by setting a meet record of 6.10m while Kendricks overcame the same height as the Filipino pole vaulter in one attempt only for the silver.
Carrying the momentum, the 27-year-old Obiena eased past 5.52m and 5.62m before skipping 5.72m and hurdling 5.82 meters in two attempts.
It was a one-on-one duel between him and Duplantis for the crown as Kendricks, Marschall, and Nilsen failed to clear 5.82m.
He skipped 5.92m and attempted to break his Asian record by trying 6.02m, only to bow out of contention.
EJ Obiena, alongside Armand Duplantis and other 2023 Wanda Diamond League Finals competitors. PHOTO: Wanda Diamond League
Duplantis dominated from there for a record-breaking feat.
A win is a win as Obiena captured his 15th medal this outdoor season and fourth in a row since finishing dead last in the Zurich leg of Diamond League 2023.
The son of former pole vaulter and Southeast Asian Games medalist Emerson Obiena, on the onset of his rare defeat in Switzerland, brought home the Philippines' maiden silver in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Obiena also defended his Asian Athletics Championships title in Bangkok, Thailand last July. In May, he reigned in the SEA Games for the third straight time since the Manila 2019.
Up next for the battle-ready Obiena is the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China to start on September 23 officially.
Considering the results he obtained, Obiena is the strongest gold-medal bet of the country in the pandemic-delayed Asiad.

Last Modified: 2023-Sep-18 16.40.33 UTC+0800