EJ Obiena captured placed third in the Mondo Classic 2023, equalling his personal best and the Philippine national indoor record of 5.91 meters, Friday morning (Philippine time) at the IFU Arena in Uppsala, Sweden.
The world No. 3 pole vaulter set the mark when he bagged the second-place finish in the 2022 Perche Elite Tour in March last year.
Obiena needed a third and final attempt to clear 5.91 to finish behind hometown bet and World champion Armand Duplantis and USA’s KC Lightfoot in this competition which is part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour.
Duplantis took the gold in his namesake tournament with 6.10 meters, while Lightfoot nosed out Obiena after a second attempt clearance of 5.91.
Obiena earlier took single tries at 5.52 and 5.67, before taking on 5.82 on two. The Asian record holder then passed on 6.00 after two attempts, before missing 6.05 on his final attempt of the competition.
The reigning Asian outdoor champion would miss the Asian Indoor Championships set to start on February 10 as logistics problems with transporting his poles arose. The Asian Indoors is set in Astana, Kazakhstan.