Philippines’ Obiena soars to fifth in pole vault world rankings

Ernest EJ Obiena. © Facebook
Ernest EJ Obiena. © Facebook

Manila, Philippines, September 2, 2021: The Philippines’ Tokyo 2020 pole vault Olympian Ernest “EJ” Obiena has soared to fifth place in the latest world rankings posted by World Athletics.

A second-place finish at the Paris 2021 Diamond League meet last weekend, and a new national record and personal best of 5.91 metres, helped him secure a total of 1,361 ranking points and a place in the top five.

“World no. 5,” he posted on Facebook. “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. Getting there,” he added.

Obiena, 25, won the Asian Championships pole vault title in Doha in 2019 but had a disappointing Olympics in Tokyo, finishing joint 11th with a clearance of 5.70m.

In the latest world rankings dated August 31, Sweden’s Olympic champion Armand Duplantis is ranked No. 1 with 1,538 points, followed by Olympic silver medallist Christopher Nilsen (USA – 1,423), Sam Kendricks (USA – 1,393), Renaud Lavillenie (France – 1,380) and Obiena in fifth place.