by Kristel Satumbaga
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena boosted his preparations for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia this August after eclipsing the Southeast Asian Games record twice in one week in separate tournaments in Europe.
The 22-year-old Obiena, one of the country’s brightest hopes in the quadrennial meet, vaulted to a height of 5.45 meters at the Golden Spike of Ostrava on Wednesday in Czech Republic before posting 5.51m at the Himmelssturmer-Cup in Germany over the weekend.
His performance surpassed the SEAG record of Porranot Purahong at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition, where the Thai posted 5.35m.
Despite his impressive feat, Obiena, however, failed to reset his personal and national record of 5.61m he made at the 2017 Stabhochsprung Classic in Germany.
Still, his recent performance is enough to contend for an Asian Games silver medal as reigning champion Xue Changrui of China posted 5.55m in the 2014 Incheon edition.