ASIAN pole-vaulter record-holder Ernest John “EJ” Obiena bounced back from a lethargic performance last time out by successfully defending the Jump and Fly in Hechingen, Germany on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Southeast Asian Games gold medalist cleared 5.80 meters to reign supreme in the annual event for the second straight year.

He bested China’s Huang Bokai and Germany’s Vincent Hobbie, who took the silver and bronze with a 5.50m and 5.10m, respectively.

While the triumph soothed the pain of a sixth-place finish in the Wanda Diamond League in Stockholm, Sweden on Friday, the recent performance was far from his career-high 5.93m he set in the Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria last year.

But Mr. Obiena gladly took the triumph as he hopes to bounce back from his disastrous effort in Stockholm.

The Tokyo Olympian also reigned supreme in this same meet held in Mossingen where he vaulted to 5.85m.

Next event for Mr. Obiena is the World Athletics Championships slated for July 15 to 24 in Eugene, Oregon in the United States. — Joey Villar