EJ Obiena missed on a point in this leg, but nonetheless held on to qualify to the 2021 Wanda Diamond League final, Saturday morning (Manila time) at the King Badouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.
It was a tough day for the newly minted world no. 5 as he needed three attempts just to register 5.65 meters and finished 10th out of 12 athletes. However, as Obiena zoomed into fourth place in the qualification standings after that second-place finish in Paris the other week, he racked up 16 points, which is good for a place in the Zurich final.
Obiena actually needed three tries on a previous height of 5.50 meters, and he even started with a fault before he was able to clear 5.35.
Eventually, the 25-year-old faltered in his another last-ditch attempt at 5.75 to exit the competition.
Sweden’s Armand Duplantis carved another morale-boosting win after clearing a height of 6.05 — a new meet record, ahead of the now world no. 2 vaulter Christopher Nilsen at 5.85. The Swede and the American were already qualified into the final prior to this leg.
Duplantis, the Olympic champion and current top pole vaulter, waited for the bar to be set at 6.19 meters — a supposed new world record — but he barely missed clearance at the said height on his second attempt. However, he still bagged the full eight points towards 44 qualification points in total.
KC Lightfoot finished in third place also with 5.85, sealing his place in the final as well, after tying Obiena with 16 qualification points.
USA’s Sam Kendricks, who skipped this leg, qualified in second place with 34 points, followed by Nilsen in third place and at 24 points. Meanwhile, France’s Renaud Lavillenie rounded up the list with 12 points.
The final leg of this year’s Diamond League series is set on September 8-9 at the Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich, Switzerland.