EJ Obiena AFP FILE PHOTO
EJ Obiena AFP FILE PHOTO

FILIPINO Olympian pole vaulter Ernest John "EJ" Obiena retained the gold medal in the Jump and Fly meet in Weserstadion, Hechingen in Germany on Sunday (Philippine time).

Obiena cleared 5.80 meters (m) in his third attempt to rule the event albeit other topnotch pole vaulters like reigning Olympic champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden and Piotr Lisek of Poland did not join the tournament.

Duplantis just set a new world record of 6.16m in the Bauhaus-Galan in Stockholm, where Obiena cleared 5.73m only.

"Sixth (gold) for the year reppin' the Philippines. Keep jumping, keep improving. With God's grace and determination, we'll soon get to reach our goal," wrote Obiena in a Facebook post on Sunday, alluding to his new golden performance.

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Obiena's 5.80 leap, however, was 0.5m shorter than the 5.85m he set in last year's edition of the tournament in Mossingen.

The 6-foot-2 Obiena also tried to set a new Asian record of 5.94m but could not execute, as the 5.93m he set last year in Austria remains the continent's best.

Huang Bokai of China finished second by hurdling 5.50m while Vincent Hobbie of Germany placed third with 5.10m.

Prior to winning the gold in this Jump and Fly event, Obiena ruled the Taby Stavhoppsgala in Taby, Sweden last June 29.

Next up for Obiena is the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States slated from July 15 to 24.