Pole vault

Aiming to be ‘stronger, faster,’ EJ Obiena begins 2024 season as Olympics nears

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Aiming to be ‘stronger, faster,’ EJ Obiena begins 2024 season as Olympics nears

SENSATIONAL. EJ Obiena reacts after the Asian Games men's pole vault final.

Jeremy Lee/REUTERS

Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena will see action in three events across Europe over the next two weeks as he ramps up his preparations for the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – The previous year saw EJ Obiena conquer new heights, but he is not done pushing himself to the limit as the Paris Olympics approaches.

Obiena seeks to raise his game to another level as he competes in the Memorial Josip Gasparac in Osijek, Croatia, on February 20 to start the indoor season.

“I’m trying to be stronger, faster, jump a little bit higher than last year,” said Obiena last January 29 when he claimed the Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).

Obiena has installed himself as a medal contender in Paris following a stellar 2023 that saw him become the first Asian pole vaulter to clear the six-meter bar, among other notable achievements.

He soared past the elusive height twice, doing so when he clinched a historic silver in the World Athletics Championships.

Currently ranked second in the world, Obiena also stamped his class in the continent as he defended his Asian Athletics Championships crown and won his first Asian Games title.

Not settling for less, Obiena hopes to get a crack at the Olympic gold, which world No. 1 Armand Duplantis of Sweden is eager to defend.

Duplantis is a heavy favorite to reign in Paris as he holds the world record of 6.23m, but his rivals have caught him on his bad days, with Obiena beating him twice over the last two years.

Obiena edged Duplantis for the Brussels Diamond League crown in September 2022 then one-upped the reigning world champion again with a silver in the Monaco Diamond League in July 2023, where the Swede finished fourth.

“If things go into place, it should put me closer to the world No. 1 and give myself a better chance,” Obiena said during the PSA Awards Night.

After his appearance in Croatia, Obiena will fly to Berlin, Germany, for the ISTAF Indoor on February 23 and will also see action in Glasgow, Scotland, for the World Indoor Championships on March 3. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.