EJ Obiena eyes early qualification for Paris Olympics | Inquirer Sports

EJ Obiena eyes early qualification for Paris Olympics

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:58 PM May 10, 2023

Philippines' EJ Obiena competes in the men's pole vault final during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at the Morodok Techo National stadium in Phnom Penh on May 8, 2023.

Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena competes in the men’s pole vault final during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at the Morodok Techo National stadium in Phnom Penh on May 8, 2023. (Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP)

PHNOM PENH—EJ Obiena isn’t really fond of recollecting that harrowing episode back in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

With the qualification meets in the next Olympics in 2024 Paris fast approaching, the Filipino pole vault star will be highly motivated in a bid to qualify for the Games early.

“It would be nice if I could make it early,’’ said Obiena, in high spirits after adding a third straight gold medal in men’s pole vault to his collection, again in record-shattering fashion at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.

FEATURED STORIES

The world’s No. 3 vaulter should at least clear 5.82 meters in a tournament sanctioned by World Athletics when the qualifying for Paris kicks off July 2.

After resetting his own SEA Games standard to 5.65 meters on a rainy Monday evening, Obiena will be prepping up for the forthcoming outdoor season in Europe beginning with the continental tour in Poland on June 6.

Philippines' Ernest John Obiena celebrates after winning the men's pole vault final during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at the Morodok Techo National stadium in Phnom Penh on May 8, 2023.

Philippines’ EJ Obiena celebrates after winning the men’s pole vault final during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at the Morodok Techo National stadium in Phnom Penh on May 8, 2023. (Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP)

`”That a way to start my outdoor season. The goal is to go higher in these series of tournaments and hopefully get that (Olympic) spot immediately,’’ said Obiena, the Asian record holder at 5.94 meters.

After the outdoor season, the Italy-based Obiena can make the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September an official coronation without a considerable threat in the continent.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’ve been looking forward to that, but I hope I’ve already qualified (for the Olympics) before the Asian Games,’’ said the 6-foot-2 second-generation vaulter who became the first Filipino to secure a spot for the Tokyo Olympics back in 2019.

Obiena managed to clear 5.70m and landed 11th during the Tokyo Games, but his progress has been tremendous ever since.

ADVERTISEMENT

He placed third in the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States, the first for a Filipino to achieve such a feat on a global stage.

The 27-year-old from Tondo, Manila and son of Filipino pole vault great Emerson Obiena even beat Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis at the prestigious Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium last year.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“This (pointing to the Philippine flag on the left side of his chest), keeps me motivated,’’ said Obiena.

TAGS: EJ Obiena, Paris Olympics, pole vault

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.