PATAFA, PSC commend Obiena for breaking Asian pole vault record


Posted at Sep 12 2021 02:53 PM

Philippines' Ernest John Obiena in action during the men's pole vault. Benoit Tessier, Reuters
Philippines' Ernest John Obiena in action during the men's pole vault. Benoit Tessier, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Sunday celebrated the latest record-breaking feat of Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

The 25-year-old Obiena reset the national and Asian record at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Austria (Sunday in Manila), clearing 5.93 meters to win the competition.

It was already the second time in two weeks that Obiena reset his personal best, having cleared 5.91-m in the Paris leg of the Wanda Diamond League last August 28.

"Congratulations Ernest Obiena, for setting an Asian record of 5.93 meters and winning the gold medal at the 17th International Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria," the PSC said on social media.


The previous Asian record was 5.92-m, set by Kazakhstan's Igor Potapivich in 1992.

PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico hailed the "technical adjustments" made by Obiena's coach, pole vault icon Vitaly Petrov, and executed by the athlete.

"Even minor and subtle adjustments, unnoticed by ordinary laymen like us, can become a game-changer and turning point at the highest level of a very technical and dangerous event like pole vault," Juico said.

"These changes make a big difference… You can only depend on yourself and on no one else's execution of that person's role, as is the case in team sports," he added. "We believe Obiena is working towards consistency in his performance."

On his Instagram account, Obiena said he was "feeling grateful" after a "crazy night" which saw him breach the 5.90-m mark for the second time.

"I fought for every centimeter of that," added Obiena, who placed 11th overall in the Tokyo Olympics.

Obiena is already en route to Berlin, Germany, where he will compete in the Internationales Stadionfest.


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