Pole Vault champion EJ Obiena
EJ Obiena won gold at Chiari on his way to qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Credits to EJ Obiena

Filipino pole vault champion Ernest John “EJ” Obiena is the first Filipino qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

EJ Obiena won the gold as he cleared 5.81 meters in the Men’s Pole Vault competition of the Salto Con L’asta In Piazza Chiari 2019 in Italy on September 3 (September 4, Philippine time). The 6-foot-1 pole vaulter bested five other rivals for the Chiari gold medal.

The University of Santo Tomas student, who earlier in the year broke the Asian Athletics’ 26-year-old record, successfully surpassed the Tokyo Olympics standard of 5.80 meters on his third and last attempt.

The Asian champion’s feat in Italy broke records of his personal best and the Philippines’ national record of 5.76 meters established at the Summer Universiade, also in Italy.

The 23-year-old’s gold-winning performance in Chiari is expected to boost his Vault World Rankings which stood at Top 15 before the Italy games.

On his way to the Olympics berth, EJ Obiena also bagged gold at the 2019 Jump and Fly – Baxter Meeting held in Germany,

SEND congratulations in the comments below for EJ Obiena, our first Filipino medal hope at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

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