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Obiena caps tour with victory

EJ Obiena capped his seven-meet tour with another first-place finish at the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein Sunday.

Obiena tallied 5.71 meters to top in the six-man event in the same tournament where he first broke the Asian record last year.

He attempted to go for six meters but failed.

Second place went to Olen Tray Oates of the United States who recorded 5.61 meters while American Ricardo Klotz took third with 5.51 meters.

American pole vaulters Austin Miller and Nate Richartz came in at 4th and 5th, respectively, with 5.51 meters.

Robert Renner of Slovenia finished last in the six-man tournament with 5.21 meters.

Obiena admitted he wanted to go higher in the tournament.

“I hope I gave you a good show but I wanted to jump a little bit higher,” Obiena said.

World record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, Christopher Nilsen of the United States and 2016 Rio de Janeiro champion Thiago Braz of Brazil skipped the competition to rest.

Obiena has now won five of seven meets, including the Memorial Van Damme where he managed to take down Duplantis for the first time in his career.

He placed second at the ISTAF Berlin and third at the Athletissima in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field secretary general Edward Kho said they’re happy with the way Obiena has been campaigning but emphasized that joining tougher competitions will elevate his game further.

“It’s a good thing. Whenever he wins, we’re happy. At the same time, in an introspective view, we have to look at the trend of his performances. His coaching team knows. This is so he will be able to make adjustments to the program,” Kho said.

“We want to emphasize the quality. Because if we just focus on the result, we might miss out on the clues of the quality of performance.”

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