EJ OBIENA ended a 10-year gold medal drought for the Philippines in Asian Athletics Championship after ruling the men’s pole vault on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
The 23-year-old Obiena topped the pole vault after clearing 5.71 meters on his 11th and penultimate attempt, beating Zhang Wei of China and Huang Bokai of China for the gold.
Obiena's leap is a new national record and a personal best.
It was the Philippines’ first gold since Marestella Torres topped the women’s long jump in 2009.
“We got it. Proud to say, after all the trouble, we have made it happen,” Obiena said in a Facebook post.
“It was definitely not easy. It took a lot and felt like hell sometimes. There have been times that I have lost hope. There are times that I have been frustrated. There have been a lot of heart breaks and pain in this journey.
“It was a piece of work to say the least. All that was endurable because I have been surrounded by people who believe in me,” Obiena added.