ERNEST John 'EJ' Obiena set a new Philippine record in men's pole vault in a competition in Germany with just weeks before the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
According to the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Obiena registered 5.61 meters in the Germany international event, breaking his own record of 5.55 meters he set in 2016 during the Singapore National Open.
The new national record further enhances Obiena's bid to capture gold in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games next month. The 21-year-old from University of Santo Tomas won the silver medal in the biennial meet two years ago with a 5.25-meter leap.
The gold medalist in the event, Supanara Sukhasvasti of Thailand, hit a new SEA Games mark in Singapore two years ago when he registered 5.30 meters.
Obiena, son of legendary pole vaulter, Emerson, is one of 48 athletes competing for the Philippines in track and field. The list includes three-time SEA Games gold medalist Eric Cray and long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang.