Orlen Cup-Poland Filipino champion Ernest John “EJ” Obiena’s gold-winning performance has qualified the pole vault athlete for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
The Philippines star athlete in pole vaulting achieved the qualifying standard after winning his first title of the 2022 season when he cleared a season’s-best jump at 5.81 meters at the Orlen Cup held in Łódź, Poland in February.
The day after his championship-level jump, the World Athletics No. 5-ranked pole vaulter went on social media to renew his pledge to keep competing under the Philippines’ flag despite offers from other nations to represent them instead, amidst issues with the local federation that caused a momentary pause in his activities.
“I have my share of adversity as everyone knows. But so does everyone else. The name of the game is to keep showing up and keep trying. As to my current adversity, I leave it with God and my country.
“Last night in Lodz, Poland I decided to put my adversity aside focused on what I should be doing,” Obiena posted on February 12 on his social media.
“I tried and I jumped 5.81m. With that leap, I got the following: season’s best, qualified for World Indoors, World Championships, the big W (win) for the Philippines,” Obiena announced.
“Thank you for all your support and for trying each day despite your own adversities. I’m gonna keep trying until I can! This I promise you! #parasabayan”
The 26-year-old athlete born in Tondo, Manila, currently based in Italy for training, holds the Asian Athletics Championships record and the Philippine national record which he broke several times in the 2021 season – 5.85m set in Germany, to 5.87m set in Poland, to 5.91m set in Paris, and his historic leap of 5.93 meters in Austria which broke the Asian record of 5.92m held by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich for 23 years – earning him the World Athletics salute as a top 3 best performance of the year.
Obiena still has two competitions this February before the two World Athletics events in March:
- February 17, Meeting Hauts-De-France – Lievin, France
- February 22, ORLEN Copernicus Cup – Torun, Poland
- March 18-20, 18th World Indoor Championships – Belgrade, Serbia
- July 15 to 24, 18th World Athletics Championships – Oregon, USA
WATCH HIM SOAR AT ORLEN CUP IN THIS VIDEO & SEND CHEERS AND WELL WISHES to EJ Obiena as he competes as the Philippines’ champion pole vaulter in world competitions!
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