Obiena upsets Olympic gold medalist Duplantis in Brussels Diamond League

All smiles for EJ Obiena after capturing his fifth-straight podium finish. (@diamondleagueathletics/@allianzmemorialvandamme/ EJ Obiena Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

EJ Obiena is looking unstoppable recently.

After bagging his third gold medal out of four international outings, the Filipino sensation isn’t done impressing the world after scoring an upset win over world no. 1 ranked pole vaulter Armand Duplantis during the 2022 Brussels Diamond League in Belgium.

Obiena edged Duplantis during the gold medal battle after completing the height of 5.91-meters during his third and final attempt.

The Tokyo Olympic gold medalist had the chance to push their duel above 5.91-m but failed to finish a clean routine and used all of his three attempts.

With the result, Duplantis landed a rare second-place and only managed to score 5.81-m while Chris Nilsen of the United States clinched the bronze with a 5.71-m final tally.

It has not been an easy road for Obiena who had to fly to different venues including Switzerland and Germany in just two weeks of competing schedule.

Obiena spent his first week mostly in Germany and Switzerland where he collected a total of two gold medals and one bronze.

After completing his busy schedule in the first week, the Filipino and his camp had to book a ticket to Belgium to be on time for the Brussels Diamond League.

Despite the countless trips, Obiena shrugged off fatigue issues and was always laser-focused on getting the job done.

Completing the cast of the participants in Belgium are Rutger Koppelaar of the Netherlands, Brazil’s Thiago Braz, France’s Renaud Lavillenie, Norway’s Sondre Guttormsen, and Germany’s Oleg Zernikel.