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Pole vault stars converge

EJ Obiena will have his hands full in the Diamond League final in Eugene, Oregon. | Photograph courtesy of EJ Obiena/FB

World No. 2 pole vaulter EJ Obiena goes all in as he vies in the Eugene Diamond League final at Hayward Field in Oregon on 18 September (Monday morning in Manila).

Action begins at 3:44 a.m. as Obiena will vie for the trophy in the seven-man final after the best-of-the-best have been decided after six legs.

Joining him on the list is world champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden. Australia’s Kurtis Marschall, Ben Broeders of Belgium and United States’ Chris Nilsen, Sam Kendriks and KC Lightfoot.

The tournament winner will be given a trophy, a wildcard entry in the World Athletics Championship and a cash prize of $30,000 or around P1.7 million.

“We are now here in Eugene, Oregon AKA Tracktown which brings back so much great memories,” said Obiena, who has hit six meters twice this year.

It was in Oregon where Obiena, 27, placed third during last year’s world championships.

After this tournament, Obiena is also slated to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from 23 September to 8 October.

There, Obiena will be a heavy favorite to not only bag the gold medal but also break the Asiad record of 5.70 m set by Japan’s Seito Yamamoto back in 2018 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

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