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Obiena scores his sixth golden vault in Bellinzona, Switzerland


WORLD Championship bronze medalist EJ Obiena added another feather on his cap after he ruled last Monday’s Gala dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland where he also set a new meet record.

The 26-year-old World No. 3 from the Philippines cleared 5.81 meters on his second attempt to claim his sixth golden vault and eighth straight podium finish.

He also reset the meet record of 5.70m registered by Tim Lobinger 23 years ago.

The event, which was not originally listed in schedule he posted in his social media, capped a spectacular campaign by the Asian record-holder highlighted by a memorable win over Olympic and world champion and world record-holder Armand Duplantis in Brussels, Belgium more than a week ago.

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the United States and Renaud Lavillenie of France each had 5.71ms but the former copped the silver and the latter the bronze via count back.

The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist went fort 5.95m that would have established a new Asian mark and eclipsed the old one of 5.94m he himself set in the Worlds in Eugene, Oregon last July.

He failed in three attempts though.

The string of triumphs nonetheless established further Mr. Obiena’s reputation as one of the big guns in the sport.

His other conquests came in the Stabhochsprungmeeting in Jockgrim, Germany, the True Athletes Classics in Leverkusen, Germany, the Saint Wendel City Jump in Sankt Wendel, Germany and the Golden Fly Series in Liechtenstein.

He had a bronze in the Athletissima in Lausanne, Switzerland and silver in ISTAF in Berlin, Germany. — Joey Villar

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