EJ Obiena finishes fourth in ISTAF Berlin Continental Tour

·1 min read
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM:  September 3:  Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines in action during the pole vault competition at the Wanda Diamond League 2021 Memorial Van Damme Athletics competition at King Baudouin Stadium on September 3, 2021 in  Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Coming off a historic performance in the Golden Roof Challenge, EJ Obiena could not sustain momentum as he finished fourth in the 2021 Internationale Stadionfest (ISTAF) Berlin Continental Tour in Germany.  

The Filipino Olympian, who reset the Philippine and Asian records with a 5.93-meter clearance in Austria that earned him a gold medal a day ago, settled outside the podium after closing his campaign at 5.81 meters.  

The 25-year-old Obiena needed only one attempt each at the 5.41 and 5.56-meter marks before exhausting two tries when he went over the 5.71-meter bar.  

Obiena, however, struggled at the height of 5.81 meters as it took him three attempts to advance. He then met his fate at 5.91 meters that dashed his hopes of a podium finish.

Sam Kendricks of United States took home the gold after winning via countback over compatriot Christopher Nilsen. Both Americans flew over the 5.91-meter bar but the decisive point came at the starting height of 5.41 meters where Kendricks only needed one attempt to Nilsen's two tries.  

Another American pole vaulter in KC Lightfoot placed inside the top three as he cleared 5.81 meters and secured bronze with a countback over Obiena.  

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.

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