Obiena out to soar anew

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    RIDING high on promising results in his last two outings, Olympic-bound pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena tries to conquer new heights when he sees action in the PSD Bank Indoor meet at the Helmut Kornig Halle early morning today (Sunday night in Europe) in Dortmund, Germany.

    Obiena is seeking a strong follow-up to his record-breaking win at the ISTAF Indoor Berlin meet in the German capital last Friday, where he clinched the gold with a new national indoor mark of 5.80 meters at the Mercedes Benz Arena using borrowed poles from reigning US indoor champ Matt Ludwig.

    The lanky Pinoy earlier reset his national indoor standard with a jump of 5.62 meters when he placed fifth at the World Athletics Tour indoor meet in Karlsruhe, Germany a week ago that surpassed his previous mark of 5.43 meters in the 2019 Taiwan International invitational meet.

    Obiena’s latest indoor jump was just .01 centimeters short of his national record of 5.81 meters in his breakthrough triumph at the Salto Con L’Asta meet in Piazza, Italy on Sept. 3, 2019, emerging as the country’s first qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

    He nailed the gold in Berlin on his first jump, besting German Torben Blech, who took an extra try to clear the bar at 5.80 meters.

    EJ’s father, national pole vault coach Emerson Obiena, said that while the ideal situation was for a rest of two days between meets “I believe that my son can recover fast enough since he did not have too many jumps.