Olympic-bound EJ Obiena competes in Swedish tourney

Published June 2, 2021, 2:25 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

EJ Obiena

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena intensifies his Tokyo Olympics preparations when he competes in the Gothenburg Athletics Grand Prix in Gothenburg, Sweden Wednesday (early Thursday in Manila).

Obiena, one of the nine Filipinos bound for the Games and now ranked No. 11 in the world, will have his hands full against a talent-laden field composed of reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz of Brazil, 2019 European Indoor Championship bronze medalist Melker Svard Jacobsson of Sweden and world No. 8 Cole Walsh of the United States.

Also competing are home crowd bet Robin Jacobsson, Spain’s Adrian Valles and Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse.

This would be Obiena’s first tournament in the outdoor season following a successful indoor season stint that has him resetting his national indoor record to 5.86 meters at the Orlen Cup in Poland last February.

During the indoor season, Obiena clinched four podium finishes out of six tournaments with victories at the ISTAF Berlin Meet and the PSC Dortmund Meet.

His personal best outdoor is 5.81m at a 2019 tournament in Chiari, Italy that eventually earned him the berth to the Olympics.