EJ Obiena seeks to sustain his momentum when he competes in the City Jump St. Wendel 2022 in Germany on Thursday (Manila time).
Obiena, the Italy-based Filipino pole vaulter, is determined to nail the victory that will give him valuable ranking points that will propel him to the second spot in the world ranking.
World record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden seems untouchable on top, but Obiena can topple Chris Nilsen of the United States should he sustain his sizzling form in the upcoming tournaments.
Also joining in the St. Wendel tourney are hometown bets Bo Kanda Lie Baehre and Torben Blech, Menno Vloom of the Netherlands, Piotr Lisek of Poland and Matt Ludwig of the United States.
Duplantis, Nilsen and former Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil have yet to confirm their participation at posting time.
Aside from gaining the world No. 2 position, the 26-year-old Obiena is also looking to improve for the next Diamond League leg in Brussels to earn more points for the final leg in Zurich.
“Beautiful Lausanne Diamond League last Thursday. Jumps were not pretty but we got some bars to stay,” said Obiena in his social media account.
Hopes are high on Obiena.
He is coming off an impressive performance in which he beat Nilsen for the gold medal in the 26th Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting in Jockgrim, Germany last week.
With that, he was able to qualify for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Hungary and placed him in a perfect position to snatch the world No. 2 spot.
“EJ’s immediate goal is to pursue in earnest the No. 2 world ranking,” Obiena’s adviser Jim Lafferty said in a previous report.
“Every competition is different in outdoor with differing weather and wind conditions. Sometimes, you go for height, other times simply to win.”