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P1.5M reward awaits Obiena for new national, Asian pole vault records

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
P1.5M reward awaits Obiena for new national, Asian pole vault records
EJ Obiena
AFP

MANILA, Philippines – A hefty incentive worth P1.5 million awaits Filipino Olympian pole vaulter EJ Obiena after he registered a new Asian and national record in the 17th Golden Roof Challenge in Innsbruck, Austria Sunday.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) decided in its recent board meeting to give the reward as soon as the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) gets confirmation from the World and Asian Athletics Federations that the 25-year-old Obiena broke the 23-year-old Asian mark.

The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist cleared 5.93 meters in the Innsbruck tilt to eclipse not just the national record of 5.91m he himself set in the Paris Diamond League last month but also the Asian record of 5.93m Kazakh Igor Poptapovich posted in the 1998 Paris World Indoor Championships in Paris.

“We are still waiting for the PATAFA’s endorsement of documents regarding those international competitions and to be evaluated by the NSA affairs for board approval,” said PSC chairman William Ramirez.

The government sports-funding agency had already given Obiena P250,000 for shattering the previous national standard of 5.87m he etched in Poland last June by coming through with a 5.91m in the Paris meet late last month.

Obiena has skipped going home to train and prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics and make up for a stinging performance in the Tokyo Games.

So far, his sacrifice has paid off.

EJ OBIENA
Philstar
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