Obiena wary of COVID-19 vaccine as Olympic stint nears
Philippine's Ernest John Obiena reacts during the Pole Vault Men competition of the ISTAF INDOOR (Internationales Stadionfest) international athletics meeting on February 5, 2021 in Berlin.
Tobias Schwarz/Pool/AFP

Obiena wary of COVID-19 vaccine as Olympic stint nears

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - June 15, 2021 - 2:26pm

MANILA, Philippines – Tokyo Olympics-bound pole-vaulter EJ Obiena might defer plans of getting COVID-19 vaccination for fear it may affect his training with the quadrennial event just about more than a month away.

“Training program niya, naka-place na. As much as possible, they want to follow progression to Olympics and based sa pagtatanong sa ibang atleta na nakapagpa-vaccine na, eh may reactions dun na minsan umaabot ng 10 days at hindi maganda pakiramdam ng atleta,” said Obiena’s father Emerson during yesterday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

“Sa ngayon, di pa sila makapag-confirm kung magpapa-vaccine o hindi kasi malaking effect sa preparation yung 10 days na yun.

“Deferred muna vaccine at pinag-aaralan kung meron pang time, kung pwede pa maisingit,” he added.

The older Obiena, a 1995 Southeast Asian Games pole-vault silver medalist, stressed his son has made significant strides recently after setting a new national outdoor record of 5.85 meters in a gold medal effort in the “Jump and Fly” in Mossingen, Germany last Saturday.

And having him get a jab right now, if there's a bad side effect, might stymie his recent progression.

“Pinag-aaralan kung meron pang time maisingit yung vaccination. Pero kung hindi, dagdagan na lang siguro yung ingat para yung preparation hindi maapektuhan then after the Olympics saka na lang siguro pag-usapan,” said Emerson.

Another Tokyo-bound Filipino, gymnast Caloy Yulo, was earlier reported to be planning to skip getting inoculated in Japan where he is presently training.

But the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) decided it would be best to get the vaccine because of the strict rule by host Japan to disqualify athletes who will end up COVID-19 positive.

And Yulo couldn't afford it being one of the country's best chances of delivering its first Olympic gold medal.

“Di kasi nila alam magiging reaction ni EJ sa vaccine. Kung madelay po sa training ang atleta, setback po yan,” he said.

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