EJ Obiena saw action days after taking part in his first-ever Olympics and finished in a share of fifth place in the Lausanne leg of the 2021 Wanda Diamond League series at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Switzerland, Friday morning (Manila time).
The world number 6 pole vaulter felt the gust of wind too testy and only managed to clear 5.52 meters, his lowest height cleared so far this season, to share the spot with USA’s KC Lightfoot and France’s Ethan Cormont.
Obiena only needed one attempt to clear both 5.42 and 5.52 meters along with the American, while Cormont also registered the higher bar after a one-shot clear of 5.32.
However, the three failed to manage to go down with grazing the bar at the following height of 5.62 in three attempts leaving Americans Sam Kendricks and Christopher Nilsen, authorized neutral athlete Timur Morgunov, and reigning Olympic champion Armand Duplantis to battle for the top-three finish.
In the end, Duplantis and Morgunov missed on all three attempts at 5.82, but the latter took third place as he also cleared 5.72. The world record holder skipped 5.72 to get 5.62 only.
Nilsen won the leg after a one-shot clear of 5.82 meters, as Kendricks needed two tries to tackle the said height.
Kendricks, who was forced to withdraw from last month’s Tokyo Olympics due to contracting COVID-19, now at the top the leaderboard going into the Diamond League final with 29 points. Duplantis went down a spot to second, just one point down from the American.
Obiena, on his part, maintained his fifth-place spot in the series rankings with 9 points.
The 25-year-old will look to do better on Saturday as the series heads to Paris for the next leg.