Obiena event washed out

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    OLYMPIC-BOUND pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and his Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov left Innsbruck, Austria with unfinished business yesterday (Saturday in the Manila) after the showcase men’s pole vault event in the Golden Roof Challenge of the Golden Fly athletic series was washed out by heavy rains.

    Obiena cleared 5.30 meters and was attempting to finish his attempt at 5.40 meters when Austrian national athletic coach Arman Margreiter, the founder of the event and meet director, decided to cancel the rest of the competition.

    Only reigning US indoor champion Matt Ludwig had completed his jump at 5.40 meters in the meet streamed live and shared by the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association through its Youtube channel and Facebook page when play was scrapped.

    Exactly a year and one day after he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, Obiena began at the height 5.10 meters on the world’s largest mobile track and field facility before easily clearing 5.30 meters.

    At 5.40 meters, he was able to clear the bar but breasted it going down then hit the bar with his legs going up on his second attempt before the competition was suspended.

    Obiena and Petrov, the head coach at the World Athletics elite training camp in Formia, Italy where the Pinoy vaulter has been based since 2014, headed immediately for Ostrava, Czech Republic for the Golden Spike meet set for tomorrow (Wednesday in Manila) at the 15,000-seat Mestky Stadium.