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Obiena chases elusive crown

EJ Obiena will be gunning for no less than the gold medal when he competes in the men’s pole vault event of the World Athletics Continental Tour on Tuesday at the Bregyó Athletic Center in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.

The 26-year-old Filipino vaulter will be shooting for the crown against a familiar cast of competitors that features world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden and Chris Nilsen of the United States — two athletes who foiled his title quest in the World Athletics Championships last month in Eugene, Oregon.

Obiena registered an Asian record of 5.94 meters in the World Championships, but he still failed to win the gold as Duplantis roared with a
record-breaking 6.21 meters while Nilsen also registered 5.94 meters but still settled for the silver via countback.

A few days later, the tallied 5.73 meters in the Poland Wanda Diamond League at the Stadion Slaski in Chorzów, Poland.

It, however, was still not enough as he only settled for the bronze medal behind Duplantis (6.10 meters) and Sondre Guttormsen of Norway (5.73 meters).

Obiena said he is thrilled to flex his muscles and claim the elusive gold medal.

“It’s been fun splashing around in Kamila Skolimowska Memorial. Tomorrow (Monday) we’re back again and taking a flight in the skies of Székesfehérvár, Hungary,” Obiena said in a social media post.

In a previous statement, Obiena stressed that winning the crown via a six-meter performance is achievable, especially now that he’s entering the prime of his career.

“My peak in the jump was at around 6.08 meters. Technically, I soared past six meters but the bar wasn’t at six meters. That part gets me excited,” Obiena said.

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