ON THE NIGHT Armand Duplantis raised the pole vault bar higher, Filipino star EJ Obiena and the rest of the world were left standing in awe at the mesmerizing display of greatness by the Swedish titan in Eugene, Oregon leg of the Diamond League.
The Asian record-record holder from Tondo in Manila settled for the silver with a 5.82-meter clearance and helplessly watched from the sidelines as the Olympic champion mercilessly and effortlessly took the gold and shattered the world record the latter owned with a galactic 6.23m.
At least, in one fleeting moment, Mr. Obiena was the last challenger standing and just a shadow behind Mr. Duplantis.
But when push came to shove, Mr. Obiena couldn’t clear 6.02m while Mr. Duplantis masterfully hurdled it before delivering another performance for the ages with that stellar 6.23m.
American Sam Kendricks took the bronze after he edged via count back Australian Kurtis Marschall and another United States bet Chris Nilsen, who had identical 5.72ms.
It was nonetheless a solid effort by Mr. Obiena, a World Championship silver winner who should destroy the Hangzhou Asian Games field next week the way Duplantis did in Eugene. — Joey Villar