LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2022 12:30 PM | Updated as of Sep 15 2022 01:37 PM

LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 1
LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 2
LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 3
LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 4
LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 5
LOOK: EJ Obiena back in Manila after successful season 6

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena arrives in Manila. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena is back in the Philippines after a superb campaign in the 2022 outdoor season. 

Obiena arrived in Manila on Thursday morning, together with his girlfriend, German track and field athlete Caroline Joyeaux. He was met by his parents, Emerson and Jeanette Obiena. 

This is Obiena's first time to return to the Philippines since 2019. He will stay for a three-week vacation before returning to training and competition with an eye towards the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. 

The pole vaulter also paid a courtesy call to new Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Noli Eala, who assured him of the full support of the government. Obiena memorably had a falling out with his national federation, the PATAFA, which was worked out earlier this year to allow him to return to the national team pool.

"Napag-usapan na namin 'yung mga problema in general, and meron na kaming mga verbal na kasunduan para hindi maulit ang mga problema," Eala said.

Obiena won six of his last eight competitions in the outdoor season, including the Memorial van Damme -- the Brussels leg of the Diamond League -- last September 2.

In July, he made history by winning bronze in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the first Filipino to reach the podium of the worlds. He cleared 5.94-meters in the event to set a new personal best and reset the national and Asian record.

Obiena kicked off his outdoor season by winning gold in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he set a meet record of 5.46-meters.

He capped his campaign with back-to-back first place finishes at the Golden Fly Liechtenstein and Gala dei Castelli. In his last event, he set a new meet record by clearing 5.81-meters.
 

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