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EJ Obiena claims gold in Swedish pole vault event

Another gold for EJ Obiena in Europe.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—EJ Obiena racked up another gold medal in his buildup for the Tokyo Olympics after winning the Taby Stavhoppsgala pole vault contest in Sweden early Saturday (Philippine Time).

Unlike in his previous successful gold medal conquest in which he had to share honors with defending Olympic champ Thiago Braz of Brazil, the Filipino got the better of his longtime training partner as he won through the tiebreaker.

Obiena and Braz ended up in a three-way tie with Andrew Irwin of the United States as they share the maximum cleared height of 5.8 meters.

Irwin settled for the bronze as he needed three tries before leaping past the said height even as both Obiena and Braz cleared the height in only one attempt.

However, Obiena got the countback tiebreaker over Braz, giving him the gold.

Obiena, who in his previous event set the new Philippine pole vault record at 5.87 meters, tried to break his own feat by going for 5.9 meters but missed out on it.

Braz also tried 5.9, but he too failed to clear the height, while Irwin's stint ended after failing to clear 5.85 meters.

Up next for Obiena is the Bauhaus-Galan Wanda Diamond League Meeting scheduled on Sunday, which features some of his potential opponents in the Tokyo Olympics including world record holder Armand Duplantis.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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