EJ Obiena showed that he is in peak form heading into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, winning gold in the 2021 Gothenburg Athletics Grand Prix in Sweden, Thursday morning (Manila time).
Despite a crack field that has 2016 Rio Games gold medalist Thiago Braz and Pal Haugen Lillefosse, the University of Santo Tomas product proved that he can defeat the world’s best.
Obiena needed to clear just 5.7-meters to win gold, 0.05 meters ahead of Braz and 0.1m higher than Lillefosse.
With the championship already secured, the 25-year-old tried to clear 5.80-meters as well but could not do so.
This is Obiena’s third gold of the year. He also won the PSD Bank Indoor Meeting and the ISTAF Indoor Meet — both in Germany.
Obiena rose to world no. 11 after taking down this tournament.
Obiena looks to end the country’s almost century-long medal drought in athletics. Miguel White was the last Filipino to medal in the Olympiad, taking bronze in the Men’s 400 metre hurdles event of the 1936 Berlin Games.