EJ Obiena aims for August athletics restart

Beatrice Go
EJ Obiena aims for August athletics restart

Josh Albelda

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena gets a chance to compete in one of sports' first international events amid the pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Tokyo Olympics qualifier EJ Obiena hopes to get back on track as World Athletics will jumpstart the season in the 2020 Diamond League.

The International Amateur Athletics Federation will be hosting the first leg of the series of outdoor track and field competitions on August 14 in Monaco.

“It depends on the organizing committee,” said Obiena, who has been able to train normally again in Formia, Italy.

“Technically, they have their guidelines for each of the competitions, but the goal is to be in Monaco.”

In his sport’s eventual return, the star pole vaulter aims to jump consistently at the height of 5.8 meters, which is the Olympic qualifying mark that he breached.

But leading up to the quadrennial meet, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist believes that he can vault to a height of 6.0m, which surpasses the 28-year-old Asian record of 5.92m held by Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich.

“To be honest, I believe I can jump 6.0m. I know I can, but it’s a matter of me getting how consistent I can be and compete at that level,” explained Obiena.

“I’ve seen my mistakes. Looking back, the 5.8 height was really ugly compared to how I’m vaulting now. There’s so much room for me to improve.” (Rappler Sports Timeout: What’s up with EJ Obiena?)

The 24-year-old continues to train with Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov and reigning Olympic gold medalist Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil. – Rappler.com

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.