‘First podium finish’: EJ Obiena becomes 1st Filipino clinch medal at World Athletics Championships

July 25, 2022 - 11:30 AM
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Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Men's Pole Vault - Final - Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - July 24, 2022 Philippines' Ernest John Obiena reacts during the men's pole vault final (Reuters/Aleksandra Szmigiel)

Filipino pole vaulter Ernest JohnEJ” Obiena settled for third place at the men’s pole vault final of the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. 

The 26-year-old Obiena, the only Filipino and Asian to advance to the finals, cleared the 5.94-meter mark posting a new Asian record. 

His previous personal record was 5.93 meters, which is also the previous Asian record.

Obiena was assured of the bronze medal after Thiago Braz of Brazil failed to clear six meters.

Obiena came third, next to Sweden’s Armand Duplantis and Chris Nilsen of the United States.

Crowd-favorite Duplantis won the pole vault crown after he cleared 6.00 meters. He set the new world record at 6.21 meters. 

RELATED: Swede Duplantis breaks pole vault world record to win gold

Twitter was immediately filled with greetings for Obiena as they lauded him for his historic finish and new record. 

“First podium finish for PH in Pole Vault World Championships!! Congrats EJ Obiena,” a Twitter user said.

“GREATEST EVENT FOR THE PHILIPPINES TODAY. Thank you for saving this day for the Filipinos! Well done EJ OBIENA!  #WorldAthleticsChamps,” another Twitter user said. 

“Pag nakamedal si EJ Obiena dito dapat maawardan din yung medyas niya,” another Twitter user said pointing out the Blue Cookie Monster socks worn by Obiena.

The pole vaulter also posted a photo of his socks on Facebook.

Obiena is the first Filipino in history to win an athletics world medal.