International gold medalist EJ Obiena soars to Top 15 in new Pole Vault World Rankings

Gold medalist Ernest John Obiena
Ernest John Obiena ranked 13th at the latest vault world rankings of International Association of Athletics Federations. Photo credits to Ernest John Obiena.

Filipino pole vault gold medalist Ernest John “EJ” Obiena made it to the Top 15 of the latest Vault World Rankings of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The 23-year-old Pinoy pole vaulter clinched the 13th spot in a tie with French athlete Valentin Lavillenie in the world rankings as of August 20.

The Top 15 showing puts EJ Obiena, the only Filipino in the IAAF Vault World Rankings, in contention for the Qualifiers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Filipino athlete has built up points for his Olympics bid by bagging gold medals and establishing new records in various international tilts such as the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships in Doha where he broke a 26-year-old record, at the 2019 Summer Universiade held in Italy where he set a new pole vault record, and showed his winning form at the 2019 Jump and Fly – Baxter Meeting held in Germany.

EJ Obiena had cleared 5.76 meters at the Summer Universiade which was only .04 centimeters short to reach the 5.80 meter Olympic Qualifying Standard to make it to the Summer Games in 2020.

Philip Ella Juico, president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) says he is confident that EJ Obiena will reach the pole vault Olympic Qualifying Standard because he has cleared 5.80 meters multiple times during his practice.

The 6-foot-2 pole vault athlete from the University of Santo Tomas is set to compete and will try to clear the Olympic Qualifying Standard in the upcoming IAAF-sanctioned games – Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland on August 29, and the World Championships in Doha, Qatar in September.

Obiena can also attempt to meet and surpass the 5.80 Olympics qualifying mark during the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines from November 30 to December 11, 2019.

SEND cheers in the comments below for Ernest John Obiena, our pole vault contender at the 30th SEA Games and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

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Atom L. Pornel
Atom Pornel is a tourism and broadcast journalism major who loves local art and heritage and is passionate about anything good news from the Philippines. Born from a Bicolano-Odionganon father and Waray mother, he has grown appreciation of our diversity as nation.