Tokyo-bound Obiena marks Japan-PH Friendship anniversary with video greeting

Published April 15, 2021, 1:02 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

EJ Obiena

Olympic-bound athlete EJ Obiena joined the 65th anniversary celebration of the Japan-Philippines Friendship in a short video message posted at the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines’ Facebook page late Wednesday, April 14.

“Hi, I’m Ernest John Obiena. I’m gonna be competing in the Summer Olympic Games in athletics, specifically pole vaulting and I’d like to say happy 65th anniversary for Japan-Philippines friendship and wishing you guys all the best. Thank you, I’ll see you there,” Obiena said in the 19-second clip.

The post almost marks the 100-day countdown leading to the Olympics that Tokyo would be hosting from July 23 to Aug. 8.

Obiena is the first Filipino athlete to qualify in the Tokyo Games after hitting the Olympic qualifying standard at a tournament in Italy in 2019.

He is currently training in Italy under Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov.

Also competing in the Olympics are boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, as well as gymnast Carlos Yulo.

All are currently training abroad with the four boxers in a training camp in Thailand and Yulo in Japan.

With 100 days left until the Games, more athletes are still seeking berths with qualifying tournaments lined up in the coming months.