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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Obiena warms up just right for Tokyo pole vault campaign

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EJ OBIENA is getting himself warmed up with a flourish after collecting the men’s pole vault silver medal just under three weeks before the Tokyo Olympics open in Japan.

Obiena  cleared 5.87 meters to finish behind the 5.92-meter golden effort the US’s Christopher Nilsen pulled off and ahead of bronze medalist Piotr Lisek (5.82m) of Poland in the Irena Szwewinska Memorial/Bydgosszcz Cup on Wednesday at the Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bydgosszcz, Poland.

Rio 2016 gold medalist Thiago Braz da Silva also cleared 5.82-m but settled for fourth place.

The 25-year-old 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Obiena surpassed his Philippine outdoor record of 5.85m he set in Berlin, Germany last June 12.

Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association President Philip Ella Juico was pleased with Obiena’s performance in the past few days, saying it’s a “good sign” that he will do “something great” in the Tokyo Olympics athletics competitions set from July 31 and August 3 at the Japan National Stadium.

“It’s very encouraging and it’s a good development,” Juico said on Thursday. “I think he will do something great in the Olympics—the messages sounded like that in the past few weeks.”

“It’s a good sign, and most importantly, his confidence is getting stronger with the adjustments they are doing,” he added. Juico praised Obiena’s father Emerson Obiena and Ukrainian Coach Vitaly Petrov for doing their best to prepare the Filipino pole vaulting pride.

He said that Swede Armand Duplantis’s 6.18m world record doesn’t intimdate Obiena at all.

“That’s not a pressure, but that’s a goal, a part of his aspiration,” Juico added.

Obiena hiked his medal haul during his pre-Olympic European sortie in 2020 and 2021 to four golds, four silvers and three bronzes.

“I am grateful, but more needs to be done,” Obiena posted on his social media sites. He is still scheduled to compete at the Wanda Diamond League in Stockholm on Sunday.

Obiena will fly to Tokyo on July 23, the day the Olympics open.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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