Obiena finishes 2nd behind Duplantis

Obiena finishes 2nd behind Duplantis

MANILA, Philippines — Ranged against pole vault demigod Armand Duplantis of Sweden, Filipino world No. 3 EJ Obiena was happy to play second fiddle.

Clearing 5.82 meters, Obiena plucked the silver behind the fantastic meet record of 6.06 meters by Duplantis in the ISTAF Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Germany Friday.

It was the sixth straight podium finish for Obiena, the 2022 World Championship bronze medalist and Asian record-holder in the young season. He has now amassed three golds, a couple of silvers and a bronze.

Never mind that he was utterly overshadowed by Duplantis, the Olympic and world champion and record-holder who went for a new world indoor mark of 6.22 m but failed.

At least, Obiena is slowly getting into groove in his attempt to breach the 6m mark as he prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifying process starting in July.

Olympian Kurtis Marschall of Australia snatched the bronze with a similar 5.82m.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ Eric Cray, Janry Ubas, Sarah Dequinan and Mark Harry Diones wound up with heartbreaking results in their respective events in the Asian Indoor Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Cray had a DNF (did not finish) in the 400 meters after suffering a groin muscle strain, which may force him to pull out of the 60m event today.

Ubas was 10th of 18 participants in the long jump with a 7.42m while Dequinan was ninth and last in the pentathlon with a final aggregate of 3530.

Diones missed making the final round cut after winding up 10th with a 15.77m jump.

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