(Photo from EJ Obiena’s Facebook page)

MANILA – EJ Obiena swung back into action with a bang by winning the gold medal at the Stanbhocksprung-meeting event in Jockgrim, Germany on Wednesday (Philippine Time).

The world No. 3 pole vaulter even beat the guy immediately above him in the world rankings, American Chris Nilsen, for the top spot.

Obiena was the only athlete to clear 5.81 meters in the event, beating Nilsen, who could only breach 5.71.

Obiena's feat was a huge jump from his debut performance in 2016, where he only cleared 5.3 meters.

"Great start for the second part of the season," Obiena said.

It was not the only good news Obiena got as his win qualifies him for the World Athletics Championships in Hungary next year, giving him a chance to better his bronze medal performance earlier this year in the United States.

"We got the gold and then got the standard for next year's World Champs in Hungary," he further said.

Even Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino is delighted with the news, saying, "Tuloy-tuloy lang, EJ. Proud kami sa'yo. Salamat muli sa pagbibigay karangalan sa Pilipinas (Just continue doing this, EJ. We're proud of you. Thank you for giving honor again to the Philippines)."

Australian Kurtis Marshall also leaped a maximum of 5.71 meters, but he settled for the bronze as Nilsen owned the count back tiebreaker. (PNA)