SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Ernest John Obiena fortified his chances of making the national team when he salvaged a silver medal in the recent 2012 Taiwan International Indoor pole vault championships.
A second generation athlete who is the son of former national team member Emerson Obiena, he cleared the bar at 4.41 meters to place second in the 11-man junior contest ruled by Malaysia’s Mohd Mehamed who jumped 4.61m.
His performance boosted the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association’s developmental pool, which is already being primed up for next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.
It also ended the Filipino tracksters’ medal drought this year after four international tournaments.
Filipino Jerome Margallo posted 4.56m for fifth place in men’s category. Women’s entry Riezel Buenaventura also placed fifth in her division with a 3.66m effort.
The elder Obiena served as their coach.
“These are very young kids with very good potential, we are just starting to give them exposure so they will be ready in the next few years,” said Patafa president Go Teng Kok.