By CARLO ANOLIN
Tokyo Olympic-bound pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena set a new Philippine outdoor record on his way to ruling the 2021 Jump & Fly meet in Mössingen, Germany on Saturday, June 12 (Manila time).
Obiena cleared 5.85 meters on his third attempt to shatter his previous mark of 5.81m set in Chiara, Italy in 2019.
He soared through the 5.40m, 5.65m, and 5.70m barriers with nary a trouble before successfully achieving the historic feat on his third try.
The 25-year-old Obiena also attempted to jump over 5.93m but failed thrice.
Despite the home field advantage, German opponents Oleg Zernikel settled for silver medal while Philip Kas and Tom-Linnus Humann tied for third place.
Zernikel, who is also competing in the Tokyo Olympics, also tried to clear 5.85m and 5.90 bars but failed.
Obiena’s previous record of 5.81m in Chiara paved the way for him to become the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Olympics.
His personal best is marked at 5.86m when he settled for a silver medal in the 2021 Orlen Indoor Cup.
Obiena is now in the final stage of his Tokyo Games preparation scheduled July 23 to Aug. 8.