Obiena bags gold, sets new SEAG pole vault record

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) – Filipino pole vault sensation EJ Obiena successfully defended his title in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

He cleared 5.46 meters to set the new men’s pole vault record in SEA Games, breaking the 5.45 meters he recorded three years ago.

The 26-year-old pole vaulter comfortably hurdled the 5.40 and 5.46 meter-clearances in one try.

The Italy-trained athlete attempted to break the Asian pole vault record he tallied at 5.94 meters, but failed to surpass the height in three attempts.

“I’m relieved and happy to win the gold. I came here as a favorite and finally delivered. Mission accomplished,” said Obiena.

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It was a sweet victory for Obiena, who was originally not part of the SEA Games lineup due to his much-publicized rift with Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

Obiena and PATAFA settled their issues in a Philippine Sports Commission-led mediation process, paving the way for the Tokyo Olympian to defend his SEA Games title in Vietnam.