Busy stretch for EJ Obiena leading to Olympic qualifying
Pole vault star EJ Obiena hopes to clear the standard for Paris 2024 before the Asian Games starting in late September as he embarks on a busy European campaign over the next 10 days.
He simply doesn’t want to go through the motion of making the Olympics next year by raking in rankings points.
“That’s the goal, to qualify outright,’’ said Obiena, who is bracing for at least three tournaments in Europe. The Olympic qualifying season starts July 1 and clearing 5.82 meters (m) in any World Athletics-sanctioned event will give him a main draw slot in Paris right away.
From Formia, Italy, the world’s No. 3 vaulter will travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland in time for the Memorial Ireny Szewinskiej on Tuesday, Obiena’s first competitive meet since bagging the Southeast Asian Games gold medal for the third straight time in record fashion last month.
“I just need to be ready by July and prepare myself for this year’s championships and (Olympic) qualifying tournaments,’’ said Obiena.
After his trip to Poland, the Asian record-holder will proceed to the Bergen Jump Challenge in Bergen, Norway on Saturday before capping his three-leg European sortie at the Oslo Bislett Games on June 15.
The 27-year-old from Tondo, Manila jumped to an Asian record of 5.94m in a bronze-medal performance during the World Athletics Championships last year in Eugene, Oregon.
First up for Obiena during the Olympic qualification period is the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Pattaya, Thailand on July 12 to July 16.