EJ places 2nd in ISTAF Berlin

DAN VERNON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE EJ Obiena gains a psychological edge over world’s best pole vaulters following his victory in the Brussels Diamond League.

EJ Obiena could not duplicate his golden performance in the Diamond League in Brussels a few days ago after settling for runner-up honors in the ISTAF Berlin on Sunday.

This time, Obiena only managed to do 5.81 meters as he attempted and failed thrice to clear 5.95 meters, a height that would have been a new Asian record.

Menno Vloon of the Netherlands topped the Berlin meet held at the iconic Olympic Stadium with a 5.88-meter leap.

Third place went to Kurtis Marschall of Australia, also with 5.81 meters, while another Dutch bet, Rutger Koppelar, ended up fourth with 5.71 meters.

“Silver here in Berlin with 5.81 meters. A few more competition before we call it a season. Let’s keep pushing and keep fighting,” said Obiena in a social media post.

World record holder Armand Duplantis, American Chris Nilsen, the world No. 2, and Obiena’s training partner and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics champion Thiago Braz of Brazil weren’t in the tournament to prepare for the Diamond League final in Zurich, Switzerland on 7 to 8 October.

Obiena wasn’t wable to qualify after missing out the Oslo, Norway and Paris Diamond League legs last June after contracting Covid-19.

Last week, Obiena stunned Duplantis, who was shocked to be dealt with a rare defeat by the fast-rising Filipino world No. 3.

Before last week’s upset of Duplantis, Obiena was making a lot of heads turn in Germany with first-place finishes, feats that came after his bronze medal showing in the world championships in Eugene, Oregon.


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