EJ Obiena, the silver medalist at the World Athletics Championships, fell short of the podium at the Zurich leg of the Wanda Diamond League on Friday, September 1.

Last week at the World Athletics, the Filipino pole vaulter snared the silver medal for his country when he achieved a 6.0-meter clearance after two tries. He placed second to Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, who reached a 6.10-meter clearance. Last July, he also won the gold medal in the Asian Championships held in Bangkok. 

And, in all the other 19 competitions he took part in this year, Obiena performed well in the Men’s Pole Vault event.

However, the odds were certainly not in Obiena’s favor this time when he went on to another round of competition in Zurich. 

Obiena was far from his usual performance that day, as he registered a dismal 5.60 meters in the event, finishing 10th and last in the event. This clearance is Obiena’s worst record since finishing 11th at the Tokyo Games two years ago. 

At the start, Obiena managed to clear 5.60 meters, but when he raised the bar to 5.75 meters, this proved to be more difficult for him. After two attempts, he failed to clear the height. He then tried to raise the bar to 5.85 meters on his final try, only to fail and bow out early in the competition.

On the other hand, the gold medalist, Duplantis, continued to dominate the competition as he cleared a good 6.0 meters in the event. This was closely followed by the two American athletes, Sam Kendricks and KC Lightfoot, who cleared 5.95 meters and 5.85 meters, respectively.

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According to Obiena’s physiotherapist, Antonio Guglietta, Obiena’s poor performance was due to exhaustion:

 

“He’s still too tired,” Guglietta said,

 

 “He was unable to recover after the world championships, but fortunately, this was not an important match since he already qualified for the Diamond League final.”, he explained.

 

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