Ernest Obiena resets PH pole vault record in Germany tilt
Ernest John Obiena again flaunted his eagerness to play in the Olympics with another record-shattering feat in his pet event.
The second generation pole vaulter cleared 5.61 meters Sunday at the Stabhochsprung Classic in Leberkusen, Germany to erase his own Philippine record of 5.55 meters.
Steadily improving under renowned Ukranian coach Vitaly Petrov, Obiena is closing in on the 5.70m mark, the standard that he should accomplish to book a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Obiena hurdled the bar on his first attempt and wound up fourth behind gold-winner Menno Vloon of the Netherlands, silver medalist Shawn Barber of Canada and Belgium’s Arnaud Art.
“I believe all the hard work that we have put in is now slowly showing results,” said the 21-year-old Obiena, a cinch to win the gold in the coming Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.
“I just hope I will be able to maintain or even improve on this level of performance at the SEA Games,” added the son of Filipino pole vault idol Emerson Obiena.
Prior to Obiena’s milestone, he pocketed a bronze medal at the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, India with a 5.50m performance.
Athletics chief Philip Juico, meanwhile, is upbeat about the chances of the Philippines in the upcoming biennial games.
“We are hoping to equal or surpass our medal harvest from the 2015 Singapore SEA Games. God willing and with the right strategy and discipline, we can do it,” said Juico.
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