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EJ Obiena vaults to bounce-back gold, rules ISTAF Berlin at last

MANILA, Philippines, September 5 ------ EJ Obiena took little time to rediscover his top form. At long last, the Filipino pole vaulter captured the gold medal in the ISTAF Berlin in Germany following a 5.92-meter clearance.

Obiena topped the 12-man field as he got back on track after seeing his medal streak snapped with a surprising 10th-place finish in the Weltklasse Zurich in Switzerland three days ago. Unsuccessful in his first two tries, Obiena soared past 5.92m in his final attempt to break through in the event which saw him fall short the past years.

This edition marked the fourth time Obiena joined ISTAF Berlin as he finished 10th in 2019, fourth in 2021, and second in 2022. Obiena, in the process, bagged his 12th medal out of the 13 meets his took part in for the current outdoor season. “Finally got this outdoor trophy after so many years of coming up short,” Obiena wrote on Facebook.

Sondre Guttormsen of Norway and KC Lightfoot of the United States settled for silver and bronze, respectively, as they both failed to hurdle 5.92m. Guttormsen and Lightfoot both recorded 5.82m, but the Norwegian edged the American via countback. Meanwhile, former Olympic medalists Chris Nilsen (5.72) and Sam Kendricks (5.52) finished fourth and ninth, respectively.



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