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Pole vaulter EJ Obiena also kisses Olympic medal bid goodbye

EJ OBIENA
Ernest John Obiena (AFP)

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

EJ Obiena was denied of a podium finish when he fouled out in the men’s pole vault final in the Tokyo Games Tuesday night at the Olympic Track Stadium.

Obiena hurdled the bar at 5.70 meters but not at 5.80m – where he failed in three attempts.

After what looked like a foul attempt on his third try, the world No. 6 Obiena approached the officials’ table to protest the apparent disparity between the display clock and the official clock located near their table.

He was given another chance, but he failed once again to kiss his medal bid goodbye.

Obiena’s personal best and Philippine record stands at 5.87, way above the 5.8 he was trying to clear.

At presstime five other athletes were already out of competition: Germany’s Oleg Zernikel (5.70m), Turkey’s Ersu Sasma (5.70m), Netherland’s Menno Vloon (5.70m) and Australia’s Kurtis Marschall (5.55m).

Still in contention are reigning Olympic champion and record holder Thiago Braz, world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, 2016 Rio Games silver medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France, Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis, Poland’s Piotr Lisek, United States’ Chris Nilsen and Great Britain’s Harry Coppell.

“You could see the desire was there to win, but in accordance with the rules, he knew his rules and rights and set things right. The best is yet to come for EJ and for the Philippine Athletics,” said Popoy Juico, president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. “Mabuhay si EJ, mabuhay ang Pilipinas.”

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Written by Tempo Desk

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