EJ Obiena officially reinstated to national team


Posted at Aug 17 2022 05:02 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2022 05:19 PM

Philippines' Ernest John Obiena  AFP
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena competes in the men's pole vault final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. Ben Stansall, AFP

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena has been formally reinstated to the national team, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) announced on Wednesday.

This comes after the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association (PATAFA) endorsed Obiena's inclusion to the national team, along with five other athletes, to the PSC.

Majority of the PATAFA Board voted on the motion during a special board meeting held last Saturday. The federation's decision will take effect this month, according to PSC executive director Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr. 

Bong Coo, the current PSC officer-in-charge, is pleased with the turn of events, saying: "We are thankful to the PATAFA leadership for taking this step to solidify the strength of our national athletics team."

Obiena's reinstatement to the national team puts an end to a difficult saga that saw the PATAFA drop the pole vaulter from its national training pool in January amid a funding row.

The controversy initially caused Obiena to be excluded from the national team for the Southeast Asian Games, but he was eventually cleared to participate and won a gold medal.

Erstwhile PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico has since resigned, with Terry Capistrano appointed as his replacement. 

Obiena bared in an interview earlier this month that he has yet to be reinstated to the national team despite winning bronze in the World Athletics Championship in Oregon, where he also set a new Asian record. 

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