PH pole vaulter EJ Obiena betters SEA Games record twice in Europe
MANILA, Philippines – National athletics team mainstay Ernest "EJ" Obiena surpassed the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) record twice in 3 days from June 13 to 16 in two European competitions.
In the 57th Golden Spike of Ostrava tournament held in Czech Republic, Obiena vaulted to a height of 5.45m.
Three days later, the 23-year-old smashed his previous performance as he recorded a height of 5.51m in International Stabboc Spring Meeting held at Zweobrucken Westphalz-Stadium in Germany.
However, Obiena hasn't been able to top his Philippine record of 5.61m.
“EJ’s amazing performance brings him within striking distance of a podium finish at the Asiad, where the record for the gold medal was 5.65 in Hiroshima and 5.70 in the Asian championship in Manila in 2003.”
The pole vault SEAG record of 5.35m was established by Thailand’s Porranot Purshong during the 2017 SEAG in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Obiena was forced to sit out of the 2017 SEAG due to sustaining a career-threatening ACL injury a day before his flight to Malaysia.
The pole vaulter only returned to training last May in Formia, Italy and after a year-long layoff as a result of his ACL.
According to Obiena, he is set to compete in two more European meets, while waiting for more to be confirmed before flying directly to the Jakarta Games from Italy in August. – with reports from Beatrice Go/Rappler.com