EJ Obiena Caps Off Golden Season With a Golden Finish in Liechtenstein

A perfect ending to a perfect season.
IMAGE JEROME ASCAÑO

EJ Obiena has capped his European hot streak with quite the exclamation point. On Sunday, September 11, the Filipino phenom took home a gold medal at the 2022 Golden Fly Liechtenstein.

Obiena went toe-to-toe against U.S.A.’s Olen Tray Oates and Austria’s Riccardo Klotz, who finished silver and bronze at 5.61 meters and 5.51 meters, respectively. Some of the other names Obiena competed with at the event were Austin Miller, Nathan Richartz, and Robert Renner. They tallied 5.51 meters, 5.51 meters, and 5.21 meters, good enough for fourth-to-sixth place finishes.

In less than a week since his silver medal in the ISTAF Berlin in Germany, the number three-ranked pole vaulter in the world won the tourney with a 5.71-meter finish. This led to Obiena capturing his fifth gold medal out of the possible seven—all of which happened within a span of three weeks.

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One of the biggest highlights of Obiena's run comes at the expense of world record holder Armand "Mondo" Duplantis in the Diamond League Memorial van Damme in Brussels last September 2. There, he cleared a 5.91-meter finish, notching his first win against the U.S.-born Swedish pole vaulter, which arguably was the biggest upset in the competition.

Apart from this, Obiena also prevailed in the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting, True Athletes Classics, and St. Wendel City Jump in Germany. The filipino athlete also took home a bronze medal in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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“Exactly one year ago today, I broke the 29-year-old Asian record in outdoor pole vault by jumping 5.93 [meters]. A lot has happened since then, and just a few hours ago, almost did six [meters]. As usual, we keep on trying and keep on fighting, for the country,” Obiena wrote in a Facebook post.

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