THE Philippines’ EJ Obiena has entered the top five among the world’s best in pole vault.
“World no. 5. An ordinary man guided by God’s extraordinary grace. I may not meet the expectation of all, but I keep trying. Thank you for all the prayers and support. The journey continues and I am proud to carry the nation with me,” Obiena posted on his Facebook page yesterday.
“Getting there,” he added.
After a disappointing 11th place finish in the Tokyo Olympics, the road to Paris has already began for the 25-year old Obiena.
Fresh from setting a new national pole vault record of 5.91 meters in the Paris Diamond League last week, Obiena now has 1,361 points in fifth place.
Newly-minted Olympic champion Armand Duplantis, who defeated Obiena for the gold in Paris, remained on top of the world rankings as the Swede tallied 1,538 points.
United States’ Christopher Nielsen, who placed second behind Duplantis in Tokyo, is at No. 2 with 1,423 points, while fellow American Sam Kendricks, who withdrew the Tokyo Games due to COVID-19, sits in third with 1,393 points.
France’s Renaud Lavillenie has 1,380 points in fourth spot.
Olympic bronze medalist Thiago Braz, Obiena’s Brazilian training partner in Fornia, Italy, has 1,331 points in eighth place behind Poland’s Piotr Lisek (1,358) and United States’ KC Lightfoot (1,333).
Obiena will compete against Duplantis in this weekend’s Brussels Diamond League.