MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) is buying 5 new poles for vaulter Ernest John Obiena, an official said Sunday, July 9.
The official, who declined to be named, said PATAFA President Philip Juico ordered 5 poles to be brought for Obiena, who said his 8 poles were damaged en route from India, where he won a bronze medal in the Asian athletics championship, to Italy where he will resume training.
The cost of the poles is around P215,000 excluding cost, insurance and freight (CIF). If CIF is included, the cost will reach P240,000.
Jeanette Obiena, mother of the pole vaulter, said “yes” in confirming if the purchase order was done. But she added, in a text message, that “we will have to wait till Monday to know the details” when asked when the poles will arrive.
The 21-year-old Obiena, who holds the Philippine record at 5.50 meters, is one of the Philippines’ gold medal bets in track and field at the Southeast Asian Games which is set next month in Malaysia.
In the 2015 SEA Games, he came in second with a vault of 5.25 meters to Porranot Purahong of Thailand’s 5.30 meters. Since then, Obiena has improved his mark by 25 centimeters but Pooranot did not show up in India.
Another potential rival did show up as a new Thai vaulter named Patsapong Pamsam-ang, also 21 years old, reached 5.40 meters which surpassed the winning mark in the 2015 SEA Games. He finished fourth in India.
Distraught upon finding out on July 7 that his poles were damaged when the plane landed in Italy, Obiena went on Facebook to appeal for donations to buy poles as training for the SEA Games is on the homestretch. – Rappler.com
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