EJ Obiena keeps his sights on winning Olympic medal
MANILA, Philippines—With the Paris Olympics still two years away, EJ Obiena isn’t guaranteeing anything, let alone a medal.
But make no mistake, Obiena is hellbent on winning an Olympic medal—which would be another first for the Philippines in pole vault.
“That’s the plan, that’s definitely what I want to achieve,” Obiena said on delivering a medal at the Paris Games.
Obiena just showed he has what it takes to reach such grand feat after recently winning a historic bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships.
“I think it just solidified what I already know and capable of which is competing with the best in the world,” Obiena said.
Pitted against other top pole vaulters in the world, Obiena issued a stern warning to the rest of the field after finishing third behind world record holder Mondo Duplantis and Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Chris Nilsen.
Nilsen, competing before a home crowd at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, USA, narrowly beat Obiena as he seized the silver via countback.
But the 26-year-old Obiena knows he may have to move mountains in Paris considering the kind of challenge he had to overcome just to win a bronze at the worlds.
“To make the final you need to jump 75 (5.75m) which had never happened in a world championship before. It’s getting tough,” Obiena admitted.
“It’s a bit of, I think, a contrasting spectrum of emotion. I’m very happy that the sport is progressing and I’m very happy to be in the era where pole vaulting is at such a high level, but at the same time, it just shows that, yeah I need to work harder to reach the things I wanna do.”
Obiena may not have offered any promises, but there was no lack of belief either.
“But definitely, I just proved to myself that I can compete with these guys and I can win.”
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