Philippines, 29 Nov 2023
  Home >> News











“Flying Pinoy” EJ Obiena continues making mark in global athletics meets

It doesn’t matter now how many medals Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena has brought home since invading the European Circuit following his gold medal victory in the Asian Track and Field Championships held in 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

Nor becoming the first for the Philippines to emerge victorious in the Asian level competitions in a little less than 100 years, nor being the first, too, from this shore to make it to the Olympic Games in his event, before becoming the highest finishing Asian to end up 11th in last XXXII Games of the Olympics held last year in Tokyo.

And, also, the first Pinoy flyer to come up with a podium finish (3rd) in the 18th World Athletics Championships held last July 15-24 in Eugene. Oregon, USA.

The past three years, Obiena showed what a tremendous athlete he is. His career broke all the Philippine and Asian records.

In his gold medal victory in Doha, EJ to the athletics world, put an end to the country’s long 94-year drought for gold since Antonino Alo reigned supreme in pole vault in the 1925 edition of the Far Eastern Games held in Manila.

Alo, actually, was the dominant figure in his favorite event in the FEG, acknowledged as the precursor of the now Asian Games, crowning himself as its kingpin twice counting his first gold medal effort for the first time in 1919.

The media paid little attention to EJ’s 2019 ground-breaking feat. Either out of ignorance over the significance of his heroics, denying him of a place in one of the most memorable moments in Philippine’s sports history.

Most accounts buried the son of pole vaulter father Emerson and hurdler mother Jeanette heroics at the bottom of the sports pages. They failed to bury though the reverberations from that breakthrough moment.

Thanks to EJ himself who committed himself to competing almost weekly or even less from the time he was reinstated as member of the national T&F team by his own federation.

He, in fact, even without financial help from the Philippine Sports Commission, which suspended all support, financial or otherwise, since he was criminally accused by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), crawled from nowhere to emerge the third best pole vaulter in the world by snatching the bronze medal in the last World Athletics Championships held in Eugene, again a first for the country in history.

And, only on a Friday a few week ago, the 26-year-old pride of Barrio Obrero in Tondo, stunned Olympic and world champion Armand “Mondo” Duplantis of Sweden to steal the gold medal in the prestigious Wanda Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium.

The young, 22 year-old world record-holder Swede settled for second place in his first defeat in a long, long time edging USA's Christopher Nilsen, another Olympic medalist.

The product of the University of Santo Tomas sports program, came off of back-to-back first place finishes in Germany, sprinted, jumped and flew to 5.91m in his third attempt to rule the latest edition of the Diamond League.

“A core memory," Obiena wrote of his memorable feat in his social media account. "Made a core memory today. First [Wanda Diamond League] win here in [Allianz Memorial van Damme] with 5.91m."

Also in the competition were Obiena's training partner Thiago Braz, Renaud Lavillenie and Oleg Zernikel.

Next up for Obiena was the ISTAF in Berlin where he, again romp off with podium finish – a bronze – as part of his preparations to the 2024 Paris Olympics where he hopes to, again, beat Duplantis and all comers and steal, too, the number 1 position in the world standing.

Before his dismal showing in Brussels, the US-born Swede had won 17 competitions, 14 achieved with vaults over the six-metre barrier.

Duplantis himself acknowledged his rare loss in an interview with Agance France Press. "I did a lot of things poorly technically," said the meticulous perfectionist in a notoriously technically-testing discipline that needs mastery of the runway approach, proper handling of the pole and complete confidence in the exacting projection upwards and over the bar.

"It's rare for me to jump the way I did. Maybe I needed a bit of a wake-up call. I've got to come back next year and do something more special for the people that came out."

He maintained that he felt he could have jumped higher even as he promised.

"But I didn't jump as I would have liked, for sure. I am human and I make mistakes and I definitely made some to improve by the time of next week's Diamond League finals in Zurich.

"In Zurich I'll try to come back a little stronger than here. I want to put up another good performance at the end of the year and end on a high," he vowed.

He did by ruling the event. In the absence, of course, of now known as the “Flying Pinoy.”

Photo: Obiena's jump at the Wanda Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium that netted him the championship.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

Recent In-House articles:

  • FRIDAY: Derrieck Cuevas-Marlon Aguas Welterweight Showdown to Stream LIVE & Exclusively on ESPN+
    , Wed, 29 Nov 2023
    , Wed, 29 Nov 2023
  • Chris Algieri: When you look at records you lean towards Orlando Gonzalez, but don't sleep on a guy like Jorge Castaneda
    , Wed, 29 Nov 2023
  • PanamaFightNight4 Undercard Set for Friday
    , Wed, 29 Nov 2023
  • Arca eyes IM norm in Sabah, Malaysia
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Wed, 29 Nov 2023
  • Ranking the Best Pinoy Title Wins in Japan
    By Teodoro Medina Reynoso, , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Sebastian to banner Queen of the North chess tournament
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Boris Van Der Vorst of Germany elected first World Boxing president
    By Gabriel F. Cordero, , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Former World Title Challenger Bandon Adams Ready For Big 2024
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • People’s Championship Card Features Five Titles on Saturday Night; With Broner Injury, Promoter Don King Sets Holiday Price of $25
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Brickhouse Boxing Club New epicenter for World-Class boxers training on the West Coast
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Boxlab Promotions to host WBA KO Drugs card December 8
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • World Nineball Tour partners with Duelbits for 30th anniversary Mosconi Cup
    , Tue, 28 Nov 2023
  • Sumbagay Sa Panglao: Sasan Battles Azarcon for ABF Belt Dec 17 in Bohol!
    , Mon, 27 Nov 2023
  • PNP/Cavite bet Mark Russel Salera rules Pasig standard chess championship
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Mon, 27 Nov 2023
    By Carlos Costa, , Sun, 26 Nov 2023
  • Cavite routs Manila in PCAP online chess tournament
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sun, 26 Nov 2023
  • Boris van der Vorst elected first President of World Boxing at inaugural Congress
    , Sun, 26 Nov 2023
  • Filipinos Jose Roda and Elmar Zamora Score Fast KO Wins in Thailand
    By Carlos Costa, , Sun, 26 Nov 2023
  • Bacojo finishes ninth in Italy chess
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sun, 26 Nov 2023
  • Benavidez vs Andrade Fight Analysis
    By Ralph Rimpell, , Sat, 25 Nov 2023
  • Tapales gets another new sparring mate
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Sat, 25 Nov 2023
    , Sat, 25 Nov 2023


 has been created to support every aspiring
    Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
    Please send comments to

    developed and maintained by dong secuya
    © 2023