IT'S BEEN an eventful season for the Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena. The Filipino pole vaulter ended his athletics campaign this year with a 17 medal haul, including 12 golds, and then capped off a victorious year with a brief homecoming-slash-vacation.
Before departing for Italy for more training, Obiena recalled this year's victories in a press conference. But speaking to Spin.ph, Obiena said that he can’t really choose his best highlight of the season because “all of them are unique.”
But if there is one tournament he remembered the most, it would the 5.94-meter jump he cleared in the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA last July 24, 2022.
“I think that was the best jump I’ve ever done for the Asian record,” Obiena said.
Plus, clinching the bronze medal in the Worlds for the Philippines made it memorable for him.
“I need to jump, it doesn’t matter what it is, I need to jump that. I don’t know what I’m gonna do, I have to clear that bar,” he said of his mindset.
EJ Obiena talks about Armand Duplantis
On beating Armand Duplantis of Sweden during the Memorial van Damme in Brussels last September 2, Obiena said it was “something that I did not expect.”
He took home the top prize after clearing 5.91 meters on his third attempt to defeat the best pole vaulter in the world, who currently holds a world record of 6.21 meters.
While beating Duplantis is obviously quite a milestone for Obiena's career, HE would like to just believe that it’s just another win for him.
“Mondo is Mondo. He is the best of all time, arguably jumped more than six meters than any other pole vaulter but at the same time, he’s human,” Obiena said.
Back in town since September 15, Obiena was accompanied by girlfriend Caroline Joyeux for an off-season break before going back to Italy for his training.
From here on out, Obiena will be keeping his eye on the prize: the 2024 Paris Olympics.