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EJ Obiena finally breaches 5.9, takes silver in Paris event

EJ Obiena finally got past the 5.9-meter barrier.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Emerson Obiena maintained in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics that for his son EJ to compete for an Olympic pole vault medal, he must hurdle 5.9 meters at least.

On Saturday, the younger Obiena just achieved it.

EJ Obiena finally broke the 5.9-meter barrier en route to winning the silver in the Paris leg of the Wanda Diamond League.

Playing in his second tournament post-Tokyo, Obiena successfully cleared 5.91 meters, also a new Philippine record, and even put some pressure on his two fellow podium finishers, American Chris Nilsen and Swedish Mondo Duplantis.

Obiena, who needed three tries before clearing 5.81, breached 5.91 in just one try even as Nilsen and Duplantis missed it out on their own first attempts.

Nilsen and Duplantis decided to carry their supposed last two attempts for 5.91 to 5.96, but Nilsen faltered in both his shots and eventually settled for the bronze.

Duplantis, however, cleared 5.96 in his first attempt, while Obiena, with his three attempts, missed out in his first two before reserving what would be his do-or-die attempt for 6.01.

Duplantis escaped with the gold after clearing 6.01 in his first attempt and Obiena missing it out.

Obiena will return to Brussels next Saturday as he tries to formalize his entry to the Wanda Diamond League final the following weekend in Zurich.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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