Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines competes in the men’s pole vault during the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar on April 21.
Obiena badly wants Tokyo Olympics to push through
Joey Villar ( - May 25, 2020 - 3:26pm

MANILA, Philippines – Olympic-bound pole vaulter EJ Obiena can’t stand the thought of the 2021 Tokyo Games being cancelled entirely. Just entertaining that possibility made him shed a tear.

“To be honest, I didn’t want it postponed,” said a teary-eyed Obiena during an online interview with selected sportswriters organized the Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) Sunday night.

“If it’s cancelled, I think I’m going for Paris. But I really want to compete in Tokyo, really want it badly and do well there. It’s hard to say what I’m going to do if it‘s cancelled,” he added.

The 24-year-old Obiena, who in Formia, Italy training under Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov, admitted he was lost when the first time he learned of the quadrennial event’s postponement.

“I was kind of lost for a week weeks because the whole mindset since 2016 was Tokyo. I was asking myself ‘what now?’ and ‘what am I going to do,’” said Obiena, who has 2016 Rio gold medalist and current Olympic record-holder Thiago Braz of Brazil as training partner.

“I was really trying to find answers,” he added.

Good thing Petrov was there to provide one.

“Coached (Petrov) noticed that was I floating even though I was always there training. He talked to me and I kind a saw that it had given me more time to prepare,” he said.

Obiena, who thanked the Philippine Sports Commission for their continued support, said he is doing okay in training and has trained his sights at preparing for a competition in Monaco this August.

“It is already confirmed there will be a Diamond League, it’s a series of competitions in Europe including the first one in Monaco, Asia and the United States. Our goal is to be in Monaco for sure,” he said.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with