Pole vaulter EJ Obiena continued his recent streak of clearing over 5.80 meters, but it was not enough to land on the podium at the Bauhaus-Galan Wanda Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday (4 July).
The Filipino Olympian settled for fourth place after clearing a height of 5.82m in the prestigious meet, finishing behind three of the best pole vaulters in the world.
Hometown favourite Armand Duplantis, the current world record holder of the indoor and outdoor events, reigned over the competition with a new meet record of 6.02m.
The United States' Sam Kendricks, the 2016 Rio Games bronze medalist, and 2012 London Games champion Renaud Lavellenie of France both cleared 5.92m, but Kendricks earned the silver medal ahead of Lavellenie via countback.
Obiena, who is heading into his debut Olympic campaign, also attempted 5.92m — which would have shattered the Philippine national record — but failed.
This is his fifth consecutive outdoor competition where he cleared a height above 5.80m, the best of which was his 5.87m effort in Poland last week to set a new national outdoor pole vault record.
Prior to the Diamond League meet, the 25-year-old was coming off a high after conquering the 2022 Taby Stav Gala Street pole vault title in Sweden last Saturday (Manila time).
Obiena will continue his preparations for the Summer Games as he aims to deliver the country its first-ever gold medal.
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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