Obiena stuns mighty Duplantis to lead Brussels Diamond League

EJ Obiena reaches greater heights as he hands world record holder Armand Duplantis his first loss in a year to reign in Belgium’s Brussels Diamond League

MANILA, Philippines — Add an upset win over the great Armand Duplantis to EJ Obiena’s growing list of accomplishments.

Obiena reached greater heights when he handed world champion and Olympic title holder Duplantis a rare loss to reign in the Brussels Diamond League in Belgium on Friday, September 2 (Saturday, September 3, Manila time).

The last two pole vaulters came out after 5.81m, the Filipino and the Swede clashed in a tense mano a mano as they both committed two faults each at 5.91m before Obiena wins by clearing the height on his third try.

Obiena – who holds the Asian record of 5.94m – grazed the bar on his way down but stayed on top for a successful jump.

Duplantis didn’t have the same luck as Obiena as he knocked the bar down on his third and final attempt for his first loss since August last year.

It was a stunning loss for Duplantis after leading 20 consecutive events over the past year, including a sensational win at the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene, USA in July where he set a world record 6.21m.

With the upset victory, Obiena pocketed his third consecutive gold medal as he also dominated the The classics of real athletes and St. Wendel City Jump in Germany last week.

He also qualified for the Diamond League Grand Final in Zurich, Switzerland later in September.

Overall, it was the fifth consecutive podium finish for Obiena, who clinched gold in the International Stabhochsprung-Meeting in Germany and took bronze in the Lausanne Diamond League in Swiss.

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the United States ran 5.71m for bronze as he edged Rutger Koppelaar of the Netherlands and Thiago Braz of Brazil for the last place on the podium via the countdown.

Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie, Norwegian Sondre Guttormsen and German Oleg Zernikel also took part in the 10-man event.

Obiena returns to Germany as he looks to extend his winning streak at ISTAF Berlin on Sunday. –

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