Ernest John Obiena crashed out of the battle for an Olympic podium finish as he was unsuccessful in clearing the 5.80 meter mark in the men’s pole vault finals Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium.
Despite clearing 5.55 meters and 5.70 meters on his first two attempts, Obiena was unable to clear 5.80 meters on his third attempt.
Obiena, one of the 14 finalists, committed two fouls before crossing 5.70 meters.
He failed to clear his first and second tries, and it appeared as if he would be eliminated after fouling on his third try.
The Filipino, however, pleaded his case to the officials, claiming that he was unable to make a clean effort since the uprights were being brought into place as Obiena’s time ran out.
His complaint was sustained after considerable thought, and he was given another chance to change his third.
Unfortunately for Obiena, he was unable to clear the height on his final attempt, and he was therefore ruled out of medal contention.
5.87m is his personal best.
Last Saturday, Obiena came up in the clutch to advance to the final round.
Obiena, whose campaign was on the line, cleared 5.75 meters in his third and last attempt at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium to keep himself in contention for a medal.
Obiena has been training in the World Athletics elite training camp in Formia, Italy, for years under the guidance of Vitaly Petrov, a former coach of world and Olympic world champion Sergey Bubka.
In September 2019, he established a reputation for himself by winning the Salto Con L’Asta competition with 5.81 meters, beating the Olympic qualification standard of 5.80 meters and becoming the country’s first qualifier for the Summer Games.
In December 2019, he went home to win his first SEA Games gold, setting a new record in the process by clearing 5.45 meters at the New Clark City Athletic Stadium in Capas, Tarlac.
Obiena destroyed his previous outdoor record of 5.85 meters in the World Athletics Continental Tour in Bydgoszcz, Poland, with less than a month to go until the quadrennial event.
With Obiena’s departure, the Philippine team is down to two boxers (Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam, who are both in the semifinals) and two golfers (Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan, who will start playing on Thursday morning).
Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first gold medal in women’s weightlifting, while Nesthy Petecio became the first Filipina boxer to win a silver medal in the Summer Games.
In their respective weight classes, Marcial and Paalam are guaranteed at least a bronze medal.