Ernest John Obiena set another national record of 5.76 meters in dominating the men’s pole vault event of the 2019 World Universiade in Napoli, Italy last Friday night.
Obiena eclipsed his previous national mark of 5.71 he achieved in the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha last April.
The 23-year-old Obiena tied and then beat Torben Blech of Germany in the countback for the gold medal.
Ben Broeders of Belgium cleared 5.51 meters for the bronze.
This makes Obiena and Blech as among the world’s top 20 pole vaulters, following an update of the International Amateur Athletics Federation.
Obiena was assisted in his feat by coach Joseph Sy and his good showing boosted his bid for a strong gold medal finish for the Philippines in the 30th Southeast Asian Games athletics meet.
The 6’2” Obiena went to Italy to train under Russian coach Vitaly Petrov, who used to handle pole vault legend Sergei Bubka.
Obiena’s stint was made possible with the help of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines.
Last month, Obiena ruled the Piazza International Pole vault Meeting-PADOVA. Obiena took it in 5.5 meters to claim his second gold medal since winning the Asian Championship last April.
Last April, Obiena cleared 5.71 meters to win the gold medal as he beat two Chinese foes during an Easter Sunday showdown in the 23rd Asian Athletics Championship at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar.