With new poles, Obiena breaks own national record in Germany
MANILA, Philippines - Using the 4 new poles which arrived shortly before the competition, Ernest John Obiena cleared 5.61 meters, 6 centimeters past his previous national mark in the pole vault, in Leverkusen, Germany on Thursday, July 27
Obiena's mother Jeanette said in a text message: "He used his new poles (which arrived) just the night before his departure to Leverkusen."
A UST Engineering student, Obiena is among the Philippines' gold medal hopes in athletics. He won a bronze medal in the last Asian track and field championship in India.
Then his joy turned into distress when he found out his poles were damaged on his way to Italy where he is training under Vitaly Petrov, the mentor of pole vault great Sergei Bubka. Obiena is training on a scholarship from the International Amateur Athletics Federation.
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Philip Juico raised money to buy the poles which cost around P225,000 for Obiena.
Obiena finished second in 2015 Southeast Asian Games with a jump of 5.25 meters.
The gold medal hopes are Eric Cray (100m and 400m hurdles), Kayla Richardson (200m), Harry Diones (triple jump), Janry Ubas (long jump), and defending champ Christopher Ulboc (3,000m steeplechase).
Under coaching consultant Roshaan Griffin, who is overseeing sprints, hurdles, jumps and relays, the national team is winding up preparations for the SEA Games at the Philsports Arena after going down from Baguio. – Rappler.com