MANILA, Philippines – Ernest John Obiena ruled the pole vault at the 2019 Universiade to set a new Philippine record in Napoli Friday night, July 12 (Saturday morning, July 13, Philippine time).
Obiena jumped 5.76 meters, surpassing the previous national mark of 5.71 that he also set in the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha last April. He defeated Torben Blech of Germany on countback. Third was Ben Broeders of Belgium with 5.51 meters.
Obiena and Blech are in the world’s top 20 pole vaulters, according to the IAAF’s latest rankings.
“This is a world level competition and the Philippines is No. 1 because of Ernest Obiena,” said coach Joseph Sy in a Facebook message from the venue.
Sy added that the 6-foot-2 Obiena got an invitation to compete in the IAAF Diamond League 4 days from now in Stockholm, signalling his entry into the elite.