The Philippines’ champion pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena has climbed to No. 6 in the World Athletics Men’s Pole Vault Rankings ahead of his debut in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Obiena, Asia’s top pole vaulter, leaped four places to a new career-best position of No. 6 in the latest World Athletics Men’s rankings after his strong podium finishes in various international competitions.
EJ Obiena first broke through the Top 10 of the World Rankings after his gold-winning performance at the Salto Con L’asta In Piazza Chiari 2019.
The Olympic-bound Filipino athlete is now ranked higher than the 2016 Olympic champion and Obiena’s training partner Thiago Braz of Brazil, who places 7th.
EJ Obiena said that his improvement in the world rankings has fueled him to work harder as he boosts the country’s hope of winning an Olympic medal.
“Pursue your passion and prepare to work hard, real hard. Work continues but this fills me with inspiration and gratitude,” EJ Obiena wrote on his Facebook account.
“The Olympics is very near and no one can predict the results, but rest assure that the fighting spirit is very much alive. We will proudly not just represent the Philippines, but fight for its glory,” Obiena adds.
EJ Obiena, the first Filipino qualifier to the Tokyo Olympics, and judo champion Kiyomi Watanabe will be the flag bearers for the Philippine Olympic team during the opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan.
EJ Obiena won his first gold medal of the season in the Folksam Athletics Grand Prix in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Filipino pole vaulter has since then set the Philippine national outdoor record twice. He recently cleared 5.87 meters in Poland to surpass the national outdoor record of 5.85 meters which he set earlier in June in Germany.
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