Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, a Thomasian track and field athlete currently in training in Italy for the postponed 2020 Olympics in Japan, recently scored three podium finishes in international competitions held remotely in August.
Obiena, currently Asia’s top-ranked pole vaulter and World’s #16 according to World Athletics’ list, won the “Finest Pole Vaulter in the World” silver medal on August 17, 2020 by clearing the height of 5.60 meters. “Who’s the Finest Pole Vaulter” was a virtual competition that streamed live the leaps of top pole vaulting athletes directly from their training locations.
The 24-year-old Obiena also won a bronze medal and achieved a 5.70-meter jump at the Diamond League Athletics Meeting held in Monaco on August 15, 2020. Only days before that, he bagged a silver medal at the 13th Triveneto International Meeting in Trieste, Italy, held on August 1, 2020, with a jump of 5.45 meters.
A student of the Faculty of Engineering, Obiena, the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, is currently officially on leave of absence to be able to train abroad. He qualified for the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics with a jump of 5.81 meters that took place in Italy in 2019.