No holiday rest for EJ in Olympics prep
EJ Obiena will be having a different holiday season this year as he gears up for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“Off season is tougher compared to competition season since you need to train most of the time, especially if you’re preparing for a big tournament such as the Olympics,’’ said Obiena.
Working double time, according to the world’s No. 2 pole vaulter and the first Filipino qualifier to the 2024 Paris Summer Games, is necessary.Obiena’s 2023 campaign ended with a gold medal in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last September and he will resume in competition mode once the indoor season kicks in February next year.
“There’s no rest. I cannot not take it easy. More training activities happen while the season is off,’’ said the Filipino pole vault star who claimed a silver medal in this year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Over six meters
Obiena has been busy in Formia, Italy, under the guidance of Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov since October 22.
“It’s more grinding than the usual competition days. I just want to improve everything for now and that’s the target,’’ said the two-time Asian champion and three-time Southeast Asian Games gold-medal winner.
Talking about improvement, the 27-year-old from Tondo is dead set on wiping out his previous Asian and personal record of 6 meters and jumping over it consistently. Only in doing that is something that Obiena said will present him a legitimate chance of beating world champion and No. 1 Armand Duplantis of Sweden come the Olympics.
“I have to be consistent in what I do generally and apply what needs to be applied,’’ said Obiena.
Part of his endurance training is running and jogging on a variety of flat surfaces and steep terrain. Obiena also included gymnastics in his regimen.
Obiena will also see action in the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, from March 1 to March 3, 2024. INQ