EJ Obiena secures gold at the 2024 Memorial Josip Gasparac pole vaulting tilt in Croatia

Congratulations, EJ Obiena! (EJ Obiena Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

EJ Obiena overcame a lengthy hiatus to triumphantly kick off his 2024 tournament schedule, clinching a gold medal at the Memorial Josip Gasparac pole vaulting tournament in Croatia on February 21, 2024.

Returning after a four-month break from the international pole vaulting circuit, the Filipino standout soared to victory, securing his first title of the year.

Demonstrating impeccable form, Obiena conquered the 5.83-meter mark, sealing his victory with a commanding performance.

The 2023 Asian Games gold medalist began his winning streak by clearing 5.51 meters on his first attempt. He encountered a minor setback at 5.73 meters, failing his initial try but rebounded swiftly to progress to the next height.

Despite securing the championship with his 5.83-meter vault, Obiena ambitiously attempted to surpass 5.93 meters. However, his efforts were not successful on this occasion.

Joining Obiena on the podium were Pedro Buaro of Portugal, who earned silver with a vault of 5.73 meters, and Olen Tray from the USA, who took bronze with 5.61 meters.

With minimal rest, Obiena is set to compete in his second international event of the year in Berlin, Germany.

Riding the momentum of his recent victory, he will aim for back-to-back titles at the ISTAF Indoor pole vaulting tournament.