Obiena not in top shape vs world’s best
Ernest John Obiena gushed at the picturesque Monte Carlo in Monaco, which will be site of the IAAF Diamond League this weekend. He buckled into training upon arriving by train at the famed city-state from his training camp in Formia, Italy.
“Our stadium where I did pregame has the mountains for backdrop,” Obiena told the Inquirer. “It was majestic. Beautiful. Perfect city. Perfect weather.”
Unfortunately, the Olympic-bound Filipino pole vault star wasn’t as effusive about his fitness.
“To tell you honestly, I’m not in the best shape of my life. Not yet,” said Obiena, whose training was stopped for more than a month after Italy imposed a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It cost me a lot of training time. But I don’t want that to be an excuse,” the University of Santo Tomas student said. “I will maximize what I can do and do my best for sure.”
He will be pitted against the best in the world, including World No. 1 Armand Duplantis of Sweden, reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil and current world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States.
“That’s the bunch he’s going to face in the Olympics,” said his mother, Philippine athletics official Jeanette Obiena. “So It’s good gauge of his readiness.”
This is the second tournament during the pandemic for EJ since taking the silver medal in Trieste, Italy, two months ago.
“I’m completely zoning out, I’m not gonna think about it too much. That’s how I’m gonna chill,” the 24-year-old Obiena said.
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