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Obiena second behind Duplantis

EJ Obiena placed second behind Swede world champion Armand Duplantis in the ISTAF Indoor Berlin yesterday in Germany.

Obiena leaped 5.82 meters in his first try to take the silver and relegate Australian Kurtis Marschall to the bronze despite posting the same numbers.

Duplantis set a new meet record of 6.06 meters to rule the event and better his 6.03m effort that he erected last year.

Obiena attempted to get over 5.91m but could not do so after two botched bids.

Duplantis also took the opportunity to set a new world record of 6.22m but failed in three tries.

Hometown bet Torben Blech placed fourth with his season-best 5.72m while compatriot Bo Kanda Lita Baehre and Rutger Koppelaar of The Netherlands were tied at fifth with 5.60m.

German entry Gillian Ladwig also got 5.60 but got seventh due to a countback with Ersu Sasma of Turkey rounding up the eight-man tournament with 5.45m.

Since starting the indoor season strong with a win in the Perche En Or in Roubaix, France last month, Obiena has yet to finish outside of the top three in his competitions this year.

In a radio interview, the Asian record holder attributes his success to his ability to focus on the tournaments, unlike last year when he got engaged in an ugly spat with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

The issue was eventually settled by former Philippine Sports Commission chairperson William “Butch” Ramirez and Obiena then went on to set an Asian record of 5.94m in the World Athletics Championship in Eugene, Oregon, and grab the bronze.

“I think the difference between the indoor from last year to this year is because I was able to train more. I was kinda clouded with something back then. I think that’s why I was doing better than last year but it’s not where I want to be,” Obiena said.

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