Obiena, 8 other Filipino athletes receive Olympic scholarships

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Obiena, 8 other Filipino athletes receive Olympic scholarships
EJ Obiena

MANILA, Philippines – Seven Filipino athletes, including World No. 5 pole vaulter EJ Obiena, were recently granted Olympic Solidarity Scholarships by the International Olympic Committee. 

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino also announced that golfer Rianne Malixi, weightlifter Elreen Ando, fencer Samantha Catantan, boxers Aira Villegas and Rogen Ladon, BMX’s Patrick Coo, skateboarder Jericho Francisco and wrestler Allen Arcilla were the other athletes who received IOC grants.

Of the nine, only the 26-year-old Obiena was not endorsed by his national sports association because of current feud with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. 

All of the grantees will receive US$833 or around P45,000 a month until the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The POC wishes to congratulate these nine promising athletes for earning scholarships as they focus on their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics,” said Tolentino. “This is the first time that our country had such number of scholars.”

Tolentino said Obiena’s inclusion even without the endorsement of the PATAFA is a testament to the IOC respecting and honoring the decision of the national Olympic committees (NOCs).

The scholarship includes access to appropriate training facilities, a coach who specializes in their respective disciplines, regular medical and scientific assistance and control, accident and illness insurance, board and lodging costs, pocket money and most essentially travel costs for the athletes’ participation in relevant competitions and Paris 2024 qualification events.

The OSS is an IOC program that aims to assist elite athletes selected and proposed by their respective NOCs in their preparation and qualification for Paris 2024.

“All these athletes need to do is to focus on their training and set their goal toward the Paris Olympics,” said Tolentino, adding that the POC will liquidate the athletes’ expenses to the Olympic Solidarity on a quarterly schedule based on the submission of reports by the scholars and their NSAs.





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