Obiena on the right track with less than a month to go before Olympics

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2021 01:50 PM

Obiena on the right track with less than a month to go before Olympics 1
Philippine's Ernest John Obiena reacts during the Pole Vault Men competition of the ISTAF INDOOR (Internationales Stadionfest) international athletics meeting on February 5, 2021 in Berlin. File photo. Tobias Schwarz, AFP

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino pole-vaulter EJ Obiena feels that he is on the right track as he continues to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics next month. 

Obiena has been making steady progress in the outdoor season, recently sharing top honors with reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz at the True Athletes Classic in Leverkusen, Germany this weekend.

Both Braz and Obiena cleared 5.80-meters in the competition.

"Mentally, physically, I'd say I'm in good shape. I'm where I wanna be," Obiena said in an appearance on "The Game" on Monday night.

"I would say that I'm on the right track. I feel good," he also said.

Still, Obiena said he still has plenty to work on as the Olympics approaches, even as he continues to rack up impressive performances in his build-up to the Tokyo Games.

Before his golden effort at the True Athletes Classic, Obiena had cleared 5.85-meters at the Jump and Fly event in Mossingen, Germany, setting a new Philippine outdoor record.

It's also just shy of the 5.86-meter mark that he set in the indoor Orlen Cup meet last February.

"I wouldn't say I'm trying to peak there, I'm still trying to work on a lot of things. I believe I still haven't fully materialized what I have worked on during the indoor season, the preparation that we have done and the technical changes that we are working on," said Obiena.

"It's still not stitching all together. So it's hard to say if I'm peaking, because I don't know what I can do, when I peak," he added.

Obiena returns to action Wednesday night, when he competes at the Irena Szwewinska Memorial/Bydgosszcz Cup in Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Poland.

On July 4, he will participate in the Bauhas-Galan, a Wanda Diamond League event, at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in Sweden.

The Filipino track star said he will continue to push himself and improve ahead of his first -- and possibly last -- Olympic stint.

"You don't know what's gonna happen after Tokyo. You don't know if there's gonna be 2024 for me, so I'm just saying. I'm seeing this as my, I'm looking at this as my last Olympic Games," said Obiena.

"I'm focusing on that and putting that into perspective and trying to do whatever I can, and make this a very memorable one."

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