The Philippines’ champion Ernest John “EJ” Obiena has qualified for the pole vault events in two world and two regional sports meets and needs training support.
Obiena is preparing to represent the country at the World Indoor Championships set for Serbia in mid-March, the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in May, the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon in July, and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.
The Orlen Cup and Orlen Copernicus Cup Filipino champion had earlier qualified for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade and the World Athletics Championships in Oregon after his two gold-winning performances in Poland.
The World No. 5 pole vaulter from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila achieved the qualifying standards for the two World Athletics meets 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 and vaulted the same height at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun.
The heights are better than what Obiena delivered at the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games where he is seeking to defend his titles which set the gold record standards in pole vaulting in the region.
The Italy-based Obiena has maintained his commitment to winning medals for the Philippines despite not receiving funding and endorsement from the national athletics federation over matters that caused the Filipino athlete to temporarily halt his activities in late 2021.
The Filipino pole vault champion who holds the Asian record and the national records for men’s pole vault has received the backing of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) but still needs the endorsement of the national federation to compete in the World Athletics events.
A few days after his double gold-winning performances in February, Obiena went on social media to thank Chiang Kai Shek College for helping him get through his current financial situation, revealing how the Olympian is struggling to stay on track for his mission.
“Thank you Chiang Kai Shek College for your support. Getting me through one day at a time during this ordeal. Making sure I can continue to train and compete despite my current financial situation.
“To my sponsors, thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin. Going over and beyond our professional relationship for the sport; for me; and most importantly for the country 🇵🇭. I am forever grateful for your unending support!
“Thank you everyone who has supported me. I am still here because of y’all. Maraming salamat po!
EJ Obiena is training to compete in the following international sports events:
- March 18 to 20, 18th World Indoor Championships – Belgrade, Serbia
- May 12 to 23, 31st Southeast Asian Games – Hanoi, Vietnam
- July 15 to 24, 18th World Athletics Championships – Oregon, USA
- September 12 to 25, 19th Asian Games – Hangzhou, China
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