No future plans yet for Obiena


IT could be a matter of Ernest John “EJ” Obiena not knowing what hit him at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night.

But the 25-year-old pole vaulter has some explanations in mind.

“The thing is I’d never been in the Olympics, I don’t really know what the Olympics [are],” Obiena told an online press conference arranged by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

“It wasn’t something I thought it was, I guess,” he said. “It’s a beautiful splendid competition, the best of the best of each nation competing for medals. It’s entirely different.”

Obiena missed clearing 5.80 meters thrice to crash out at second to last in the men’s pole vault finals. He stayed on for the rest of the evening to watch world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden run away with the gold medal.

“It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be,” the 25-year-old Obiena said. “It didn’t feel like I was able to do what I could.”

Obiena, coached by the world-renowned Ukranian Vitaly Petrov who monitored his every jump in the field along with his father Emerson, only managed to clear 5.70m, 17 centimeters short of his personal and Philippine best 5.87m.

Asked about his future, Obiena said everything would be up to Petrov.

“I will talk to my coach to try to understand what happened, and then we’ll move forward from there to see what we’re going to do in the next few weeks,” he said. “We will see what I’m going to do. I don’t really know for the moment if I am going to compete, if I am going to continue or if I’m going to do this? No idea yet.”

Obiena will be flying back to Italy on Friday, the same day his father and PATAFA marketing director Edward Kho will return to Manila.

Kristina Knott, on the other hand, said she’ll exert more effort to be able to return for Paris 2024.

“Next year is another big championship. We have the World Indoors in Oregon, then Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games,” said the country’s best in the women’s 200m. “It’s back to the drawing board, so let’s do it again.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror