Wed, 10 Aug 2022

MANILA - EJ Obiena made a triumphant return after testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Wednesday (Philippine Time) when he won the gold medal in the Taby Stavhoppsgala pole vaulting event in Sweden.

Obiena, Asia's top male pole vaulter, looked as if he's 100 percent fit despite the Covid-19 scare two weeks ago and even flirted at breaking the continental record to claim the top prize.

Obiena cleared a maximum of 5.92 meters, a new season-high that was a centimeter shy of the Asian record which he set last year at 5.93, to beat longtime training partner Thiago Braz for the gold.

Braz could only clear 5.82 meters to settle for the silver, although he could have won it all if Obiena failed to clear 5.92.

Braz smoothly leaped past 5.82 in his first try, while Obiena needed two attempts to do so, giving the Brazilian pole vaulter the tiebreaker edge.

However, Obiena jumped past 5.92 in his second attempt, while Braz missed out on clearing the said height.

Obiena tried his luck at finally clearing over six meters, but he got fouls in all his attempts at 6.01 meters.

Norway's Simen Guttormsen won the bronze after clearing as high as 5.72 meters. (PNA)

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