April 17, 2021


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E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 89

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E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m

This can be described as a defining moment in both Philippines Sports and a turning point in his athletic career. 25-year-old Ernest John Obiena cleared 5.86m at the Orlen Cup in Lodz, Poland, on February 12, 2021. 

The mark was a new Philippine Indoor and Outdoor Record, New SEA Record, Personal Best, and improved EJ Olympic qualification time of 5.81m from 2019.

EJ finished 2nd on countback to American Sam Kendricks, the 2017 & 2019 World Champion in the Pole Vault, and the Olympic Bronze medalist in 2016 in that event.

EJ is now only five centimeters away from the 5.92m Asian Record (indoors and outdoors) of Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan in 1992 in Dijon, France.

Łódź (Poland), 12.2.2021 -Orlen Cup-


1 Sam Kendricks (USA) 5.86

2 Ernest John Obiena (phi) 5.86

3 Thiago Braz (bra) 5.80

4 Piotr Lisek 5.72

5 Robert Sobera 5.60

6 Matvey Volkov (BLR) (2004) 5.60

7 Pawel Wojciechowski 5.40

8 Matt Ludwig (USA) 5.20

Lieven France Feb 9, Mens Pole Vault Results

1 Armand Duplantis (swe) 5.86
2 Chris Nilsen (USA) 5.86
3 Renaud Lavillenie 5.80
4 Piotr Lisek (pol) 5.74
5 Thiago Braz (bra) 5.60
6 Ernest John Obiena (phi) 5.60
7 Valentin Lavillenie 5.60
8 Sam Kendricks (USA) 5.60
9 Jacob Wooten (USA) 5.60
E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 91

EJ takes the wins in a sudden death match in Germany.

Fresh from his 5.80m win at the ISATF Meet in Berlin, Germany, Ernest Obiena continued his Olympic journey at the PSD Bank Indoor Meeting in Dortmund, Germany.

The seven-man field was down to four at 5.65m with Obiena, Zernikel, and Torben of Germany and Cole Walsh of the USA. Walsh was eliminated, failing to clear 5.65m. Torben survived by the skin of his teeth cleaning 5.65m on his third attempt.

The bar was then supposed to be raised to 5.73m but. The 3 surviving Vaulters opted for the bar to be raised to 5.81m. This mark would have tied EJ’s National Record and Olympic standard, with the following height of 5.87m. Obiena, Zernikel, and Torben all failed three attempts at 5.81m.

The bar was then lowered back down to 5.73m to break the tie, with both Obiena and Zernikle failing. In the sudden death match to determine the winner, Obiena cleared 5.68m, and Zernikel failed at 5.68m.

EJ’s next competition will be tomorrow in Calais, France, part of Athletics’ world indoor tour for 2021.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 92

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 93

Obiena Indoor Record catching up to Outdoor Record.

February 6, 2021

Ernest John Obiena set a new Philippines Indoor Record at the ISTAF Indoor meet in Berlin, Germany. EJ leaped 5.80m to win the invitational 8 men Pole Vault. In the process, he broke his own National Indoor record that he set last week in Karlsruhe of 5.62m.

The mark nearly caught up with his outdoor PB of 5.81m, set in Chiari, Italy, in September 2019.

EJ won on countback ahead of Torben Blech of Germany, who took two attempts to clear 5.80m, whereas EJ had just taken 1 shot. Blech had finished runner up to EJ at the World University Games in Napoli in 2019. 

Oleg Zernikel (Germany), the 2014 World Junior Bronze medalist in Pole Vault, took third in 5.72m.

This time EJ got the better of Matt Ludwig (USA), who wound up 7th in 5.62m after clearing 5.80m last week.

Both EJ and Blech had 3 failed attempts at 5.87m

The Meet Record was set in 2015 by Lavellenie of France with 6.02m. Lavellenie also jumped 6.02m last week to tie the ISATF Record.

EJ So far is the only Olympic Qualifier in Athletics for the Philippines.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 94



The Ceiling is the Limit: E J Obiena sets New National Indoor Record.

January 30, 2021

In his opening meet of the year, Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines set a new Philippines Indoor Pole Vault Record registering 5.62m at Karlsruhe, Germany.

The mark surpassed the National Pole Vault indoor record of 5.43m EJ set nearly four Years ago in Potsdam, Germany.

The mint mark of EJ came at the World Indoor Tour on 29.01.21 in Karlsruhe, Germany. EJ Finished in fifth place.

He was behind the former world record and 2012 Olympic Champion Renaud Lavillenie (France), who registered a 5.95m effort. It was Laveillenie’s best performance since 2018.

Matt Ludwig, the US National Indoor Champion, was second in 5.80m.

Mondo Duplantis, who did not join, is still the top man for the Olympics with a 6.18m World Record.

EJ’s National Outdoor Record is 5.81m, which was set in 2019.

So far, the 25-year-old Obiena is the only athlete to qualify for the Philippines in Athletics for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, already having surpassed the 5.80m mark twice.

EJ is currently ranked #1 in Asia. The Other Asian Athlete to qualify for the Olympics is Min Sub of South Korea, which has leaped 5.80m.



PV 1 Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 5.95; 2 Matt Ludwig (USA) 5.80; 2 Cole Walsh (USA) 5.72; 4 Torben Blech 5.72; 5 Ernest John Obiena (PHI) 5.62; 6 Oleg Zernikel 5.62; Raphael Holzdeppe 5.62; 8 Valentin Lavillenie (FRA) 5.47; Piotr Lisek (POL) 5.47; 10 Ethan Cormont (FRA) 5.32

E J Obiena Athlete of Year 3rd Year in a row

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 95
Ernest Obiena of the Philippines shows good sportsmanship by congratulating his buddy Mondo Duplantis with a hug after his world record 6.15m.

Ernest Obiena, for the third year in a row, is the Male Athlete of the Year for Pinoyathletics in 2020.

Ernest Obiena is still the only qualifier for Philippines Athletics to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

While no major championships were held in 2020, Ernest Obiena became not just the first Filipino athlete to compete at the Diamond League but also taking a bronze medal at Monaco and Rome, where he was only 1 cm off his Personal best.

Ernest Obiena rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s best athletes, including Mondo Duplantis.


Pinoyathletics Men’s Athlete of the Year Previous Winners

  • 2012 Rene Herrera
  • 2013 Eric Cray
  • 2014 Eric Cray
  • 2015 Eric Cray
  • 2016 Eric Cray
  • 2017 Trenten Beram
  • 2018 Ernest Obiena
  • 2019 Ernest Obiena
  • 2020 Ernest Obiena


Poznan Poland

Fresh from his win in Ostrava. Ernest Obiena will next compete in Poznan, Poland.  Tonight 11 September 2020, at the Grand Prix.

This time he will be up against World Record Holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden and world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States, Olympic Champion and training partner Thiago Braz of Brazil, and world indoor champion Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland. 

The Men’s Pole Vault at Poznan will start at 4 Pm in Poland, 10 pm in the Philippines Time. 

Ernest Obiena
Ernest Obiena

(Updates Credited: To Peter Paul Patrick Lucas of News Radyo Philippines)

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 96

All that Glitters Ernest Obiena Ostrava Grand Prix Gold in Pole Vault

September 8, Ostrava, Czech Republic

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 97
Ernest Obiena is bringing his high-wire act to the Czech Republic. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Despite the disappointments of a rained out Golden Roof Challenge at Innsbruck, Austria. It was straight on the road for Ernest Obiena and his hard-working Ukrainian Coach Vitaliy Petrov.

This time it was to the Czech Republic for the Diamond League.

Ernest Obiena beat a class field at the Golden Spike Tour at Ostrava, Czech Republic. Winning on countback over Former World Record Holder Renaud Lavillenie of France.

The win marked the first Time a Filipino athlete has won a Grand Prix at this level in Athletics.

Ernest Obiena last month became the first athlete to ever place in the Diamond League when he captured third place in Monaco.

The win for Ernest Obiena with a 5.74m was a season-best improvement on Monaco’s 5.70m.

And just outside his 5.81m PB set last year in a street meet.  

 EJ Obiena Ostrava Grand Prix
Ernest Obiena Ostrava Grand Prix


Very Quality Field for Ernest Obiena

If that wasn’t enough, what about Sam Kendricks, the 2019 World Champion who was third in 5.64m, or Thiago Braz of Brazil, the Olympic Champion and Ernest Obiena’s training partner, 4th in 5.64m.

Braz had recently won over Ernest Obiena in the world’s most OK Pole Vault meet. Pawel of Poland and Matt Ludwig of the USA, who had competed with EJ in the world’s finest Pole Vault meet, were also there, Pawel 6th and Matt Ludwig failing to register a jump. 

Only missing from the meet was world leader Mondo Duplantis who had Won the Stockholm, Sweden edition in 6.07m.

Quite an exciting clash to come up with Ernest Obiena to take on the world record holder, perhaps at the next Diamond League meet in Rome on September 17.

EJ has already cleared the 5.80 Olympic qualifyings with 5.81. But he would like to jump over 5.80m this year and jump over 6.00m next year.

 EJ Obiena Ostrava Grand Prix

Ernest Obiena Performance Progress
Performance Event Placing Year

  1. 5.81m Pole Vault Meeting, Chiari GOLD 3 Sept 2019
  2. 5.76m Universiade Napoli GOLD 12 July 2019
  3. 5.71m Asian Championships, Doha  GOLD  21 Apr 2019
  4. 5.61m Leuveksen, Germany 4th 27-Jul-17
  5. 5.55m Singapore Open 1st 19-Apr-16
  6. 5.50m National Open, Pasig 1st 9-Apr-16
  7. 5.47m PNG, Pasig 1st 14-Mar-16
  8. 5.40m  Asian Indoor, Doha, Qatar 4th  (National Indoor Record) 20-Feb-16
  9. 5.46m UAAP, Pasig 1st 18-Feb-16
  10. 5.45m Weekly Relays, Pasig 1st 27-Sep-15
  11. 5.40m Thailand Open, Rangsit 1st 7-Sep-15
  12. 5.30m International Busan June-15
  13. 5.25m Taipei Open, 2nd 15-May-15
  14. 5.21m Weekly Relays, Pasig 28-Apr-2014
  15. 5.20m Singapore Open, 2014
  16. 5.15m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  17. 5.10m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  18. 5.06m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  19. 5.05m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  20. 5.01m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  21. 5.00m Taipei indoor 7th 26-Mar-14 (Tied National Record)
  22. 4.95m Weekly Relay 1st Sept 28, 2013
  23. 4.90m Thailand Open 2nd Sept 3-6,2013
  24. 4.90m Hong Kong 1st June 29-30,2013
  25. 4.90m Singapore Track & field series 1st Feb. 15-16, 2013
  26. 4.75m Singapore open 2nd June 15-16, 2013
  27. 4.54m PNG 1st May 28-June2, 2013
  28. 4.50m Uaap 1st Dec. 4, 2012
  29. 4.45m Weekly Relay 1st 24-Nov-12
  30. 4.42m FCAAF 1st February 16-17, 2012
  31. 4.41m MTaipei indoor 2nd March 27, 2012
  32. 4.31m FCAAF 1st April 4-5,2012
  33. 4.20m Weekly Relay 1st 2011
  34. 4.05m Asean School Singapore 7th July 1-7, 2011
  35. 3.70m Palarong Pambansa 2nd 27-Apr-11
  36. 4.00m Taipei indoor March 2011
  37. 3.20m Palarong Pambansa 2nd April 11-17, 2010
  38. 3.00m Nantou, 2009 (first international meet)


Who is the Worlds Finest Pole Vaulter Live Stream

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 98

Ernest Obiena ended up second at the World’s Finest Pole Vaulter meet. An online event organized by James Michael Lafferty, CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding.

It was held on the 17th of August.

Late entry Thiago Braz the Olympic Champion, netted a $10,000 prize pool.

Each participant won a significant cash prize, which would go a long way toward their training. Braz also set a season-best of 5.70m.

After 3 fails at 5.80m.

But the surprise 2016 Olympic Champion was still a while away from his 6.03m Personal best.

Braz training partner Ernest Obiena of the Philippines took silver in 5.60m.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 99

Thiago Braz and Ernest Obiena

“We wanted to help the guys out with Training. We will are be looking at doing a women’s event for this and holding this event for Men again next year. Its all about connections if we had 4-mile runners willing to do this we would definitely consider putting it on” said Jim Lafferty in an interview with Pinoyathletics.

Results (competition not IAAF certified)

  1. Thiago Braz (Brazil) 5.70m (seasons best)
  2. Ernest Obiena (Philippines) 5.60m
  3. Matt Ludwig (USA) 5.50m
  4. Pawel Wojciechowski (POL) 5.40m


Obiena takes third at Diamond League.

August 15, 2020

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 100

Obiena took third place at the Monaco Diamond League last night.

Obiena finished third behind World Record Holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden, who dominated the meet with the first 6.00m leap of 2020. 

Belgian Ben Broeders, who took Bronze behind  Ernest Obiena at the 2019  World University Games, cleared 5.70m on his first attempt took second ahead of EJ Obiena.

EJ cleared 5.70m on his second attempt. He finished 3rd of 6 competitors and ahead of training partner and Olympic Champion Thiago Braz, who wound up 5th in 5.50m.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 101


“I would be happy with a 70 (5.70m) or 80 (5.80m). I know I am capable of even a 5.80 right now” said EJ 2weeks ago in an online interview hosted by Pinoyathletics regarding his chances at this meet. Ernest Obiena PB is 5.81m.


Ernest Obiena, who had competed on the Diamond League circuit last year, is coached by Ukrainian coach Vitaliy Petrov. The Coach of Sergei Bubka. Bubka, who lives in Monaco these days, was there to reunite with Petrov and Obiena.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 102

*Please note any media wishing to use this or any articles on our website must provide a citation to Pinoyathletics.


Ernest Obiena Open with 5.45m at Trieste

Ernest Obiena had his first jump of 2020 with a 5.45m Leap at the 13th Trievneto International Meeting in Trieste, Italy, a 5.45m jump.

EJ took second place behind his training partner defending Olympic Champion Thiago Braz of Brazil, who registered 5.50m. 

Ernest Obiena and Thiago Braz are coached by the legendary Vitaly Petrov (who mentored Sergey Bubka). 

EJ Obiena is the only Filipino Track and Field athlete so far to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with a 5.81m leap; he is one of 21 athletes who have qualified outright for 32 slots.

EJ is also the reigning World University Games and Asian Champion in Pole Vault. SEA Games Champion, SEA Record Holder, and SEA Games Record Holder.

Obiena’s next meet will be the Diamond League at Monaco on August 14.

*Please note any media wishing to use this or any articles on our website must provide a citation to Pinoyathletics.

FinalStadio Giuseppe Grezar – 01 August 2020 – Start Time: 18:30 – End Time: 20:20
1102BRAZ Thiago1993ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 103 BRA BRAZIL5.50
  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  XXO  –  –  XX-  X
2107OBIENA John Ernest1995ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 104 PHI PHILIPPINES5.45
  –  –  –  –  O  –  XO  –  XX-  X
3105MANDUSIC Max1998ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 105 ITA ITALY5.35
  –  –  O  O  –  XO  XX-  X
4108RENNER Robert1994ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 106 SLO SLOVENIA5.25
  –  –  O  –  XO  XXX
5103DE ANGELIS Ivan2001ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 105 ITA ITALY5.15
  –  XO  –  O  XXX
6104MADRASSI Matteo1999ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 105 ITA ITALY4.90
  O  O  XXX
7106MIANI Matteo1993ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 105 ITA ITALY4.70
  O  XXX
109SINNO Alessandro1994ME J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 105 ITA ITALYNM

Pinoyathletics Exclusive Media Partner on August 17 for Who is the best Vaulter online event? Livestreamed on


Ernest Obiena Competes

  • Aug 14 Diamond League Monaco
  • Aug 17 Who is the best Pole Vaulter? Online Challenge

“Who is the FINEest Pole Vaulter in the World” Competition


Talking Points

  1. I am very excited to be one of the participants in “Who is the FINEest Pole Vaulter in the World.”
    competition, organized and sponsored by Fine Hygienic Holding, the leading wellness
    group in the Middle East and North Africa region. 
  2. The timing of the competition is just right.
  3. Like everybody else in this world, I have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result of that, lots of major sports events have been postponed, like the Tokyo Olympics.
  4. This year, Fine launched its Fine Guard face mask protected by a Swiss technology called Livinguard, which kills germs, including Coronavirus. When the company felt the need for sportspeople to stay protected while exercising and competing, it has developed a special
  5. sports face mask. It’s made from comfortable and very easy to breathe through material that
    incorporates the same innovative technology. It can be washed and reused, and it remains
    effective in killing viruses for one year. This also helps preserve the environment!
  6.  The pandemic has indeed impacted almost all aspects of life, including sports but people
    are hungry for sports events, in particular live ones, and Fine is giving fanatics across the globe
    the chance to watch pole vaulters as they compete live without any fee while sitting at home.
  7. The pandemic can bring us down, and Fine motivates people and encourages
    them to keep their spirits up. On a personal level, this competition is a great booster, and it’s an
    excellent platform for me to actually compete and prepare for the upcoming sports event
    (mention name of competition), let alone the fact that we are going to get a monetary prize.
  8. I will be competing against another two world champs. It’s not going to be easy, but I am all up
    for it.
  9. The first-place winner will receive $ 20,000, and this is a generous amount. Second and third
    places will get $ 15,000 and $ 10,000 consecutively.
  10. One final message I would like to give is that we all need to be strong. This pandemic is a
    universal thing.
  11.  I encourage you all to watch this competition on August 17 at 9 am US Eastern Standard Time.
    Visit finestvaulters.com to learn more, and stay tuned!

Ernest Obiena wants to join all Diamond League Meets.
E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 111
The only Olympic Qualifier in Phi Athletics so far Ernest Obiena.
Our Track Talk Tuesday had 28 Participants.  
We asked Ernest John Obiena. About what competitions he would be joining despite the COVID delays.
“I would like to join all of the Diamond League meets as all of the top guys are on the circuit. And that’s who I need to compete against to get better” -Ernest Obiena.
He will be competing on August 14 at the Monaco Diamond League. And looks to compete at meets until October.  Pinoyathletics very own ‘Professor’ Airnel Abarra. I will be covering the Monaco Diamond League.

Pinoy Athletics Track Talk Tuesdays with Universiade, SEA Games Champion, and Olympic-bound Pole Vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena

Time: May 26, 2020, 02:00 PM Philippine Time.
Guest speaker:
Ernest John “EJ” Obiena
  • 2019 Napoli Universiade (World University Games) Champion Pole Vault Men
  • First Filipino athlete to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
  • 2019 Southeast Asian Games Champion Pole Vault Men


1. Experience as a world-class Filipino Pole Vault Athlete.
2. Notes on being an athlete in a global environment with a local perspective.


Airnel T. Abarra, LPT, MSc.
Ph.D. Student- Doctoral School of Sport Sciences,
University of Physical Education, Budapest, Hungary
Co-founder of Pinoy Athletics
Prof. Geraldine Go-Bernardo
Head- Sports Management Council of the Philippines
How to register/join:
Download and sign-up Zoom Meetings:
Also available on Google Play (Android) and iPhone


Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 818 0057 4186
Password: Filipina
Meeting ID: 818 0057 4186
Password: 661233
A certificate of participation will be provided after the conference upon request.


Ernest John Obiena is Filipino Pole Vaulter.

He holds all four significant national Pole Vault records.

He has broken the Philippine National Record 16 times. Also holding the National Record at 5.71m and the National Indoor Record at 5.40m.

Also holding the National Junior Record 5.21m, and National Junior Indoor Record at 5.00m.

He also holds the Asian Athletics meet record and SEA and SEA Games Records.

Also, Ernest John Obiena is the first Filipino that has been given a scholarship from the International Athletic Association Federation (IAAF).

Ernest Obiena Sporting career

Ernest Obiena’s father, Emerson, serves as his coach. Also formerly served as the former Athletics national team member.

In early 2014, for three months, EJ Obiena, with his father, was allowed to train under coach Vitaly Petrov in Formia, Italy.

First of all, Vitaly had previously coached Sergey Bubka. As a result of this, on July 20, 2014, at the PATAFA weekly relays held at the PhilSports Football and Athletics Stadium.

Hence Ernest Obiena broke the national record for pole vault by registering 5.01 meters.

The previous record was 5.0 meters by Edward Lasquete at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Consequently, the junior national record was also broken since Obiena at that time is 18 years old. At the same time, the previous description was 4.31, set three years ago.

Most noteworthy, he later broke his own record several times in 2014 alone (5.05, 5.05, 5.15, 5.20, 5.21).

Hence by the time Obiena became ineligible for the national junior record, the record was 5.21, which Obiena set himself.

Therefore in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, Obiena won a silver medal with a leap of 5.25 meters, his personal record.

Also, Obiena won a gold medal in the 2016 Philippine National Games Finals in Lingayen, Pangasinan, after breaking a new personal record (5.47 meters).

While having problems with a broken pole.

Ernest Obiena set a new Filipino Record in Singapore Open 2015.

The Big Highlight came through when Obiena leaped 5.50m to capture the Philippines’ bronze medal at the Asian Championships.

The first medal to ever be won for the Philippines in the Pole Vault at the Asian level. At Leuvesken, Germany, he increased the Filipino record again to 5.61m.

This mark was just 9cm off the Olympic 5.70m qualifying mark.

EJ, who just missed out on the 2016 selection, will be 24 when the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo roar around.

Ernest Obiena Article

I am a filipino vaulter who has a dream to become a world class athlete. I am currently the National Indoor record holder and i have equalled the highest vault of a filipino which is 5.00 meters. I am aiming to qualify and join the World Juniors Championship this coming July in Eugene, Oregon

Hi! I am Ernest John Obiena, 18 years old. I am from Manila, Philippines. My Goal is to Qualify for the upcoming World Juniors Championship.

While under my father’s supervision, I cleared 5m in Nan-tou International Pole Vault Championship this year.

Also, I placed 7th out of 26 competitors, which came from Taiwan, Malaysia, the USA, China, Japan, Australia, and Thailand.

Consequently, my performance set a new record for the National Junior indoor Record and National Men Indoor Record.

Ernest Obiena bending the pole.
Ernest Obiena bending the pole. www.ernestobiena.com

While my goal is to clear 5.05m officially before July 2014 to be the first homegrown Filipino to qualify and represent our country in the World Juniors Championship in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

We are usually sending “token athletes” in the World Junior Championship because we have not yet hit the qualifying standard.

Because my Personal Record as of now is 5.00m, which is just 5cm (2”) of the standard set by the World Juniors Championship committee.

Also, I had been clearing this height at times during training.

Because I have to do it officially in an IAAF recognized competitions and clear 5.05 officially.

Hence From June 2013 up to the present, the only Track Oval with a pole vault facility (Pasig, Ultra) in metro manila is not available for use.

Due to ongoing renovations.

Because of this, Pole Vaulting was able to continue and progress.

Furthermore, on January 12, 2014, I met the World Record Holder in my event, Mr. Sergey Bubka.

Mr. Bubka said I should apply for the Olympic B project that the IAAF is offering for athletes like me.

Also, he encouraged my coach/father to join to learn more and continue my training after the program in Italy.

Hence with God’s blessing, I was able to clear 5m; I became eligible for the program and was offered a 90 days scholarship to train in Formia, Italy.

While unfortunately, my coach/father has to shoulder all his expenses in joining me.

Consequently, the IAAF program would be a big help for us to prepare for the upcoming World Juniors Championship.

And we can apply the additional knowledge we learned and help improve Pole Vaulting furthermore in our country.

I am also humbly asking for your generosity by helping us save money for my father/coach’s Plane Ticket, Accommodation, Food, and Transpo. Consequently, The total amount (7300) will cover the 90-day stay in Formia, Italy, under Vitaly Petrov, the coach of Mr. Sergey Bubka.

This opportunity is infrequent, and I am most grateful that I was picked among others to join this program. Also, this would help me accomplish my goal to represent my country in a world-class competition.

Thank you very much for reading.

Ernest Obiena
Ernest Obiena

Olympics: Ernest Obiena trains in Italy despite COVID-19 threat

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena, one of the Filipino athletes who already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Is on track with his training in Italy despite the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy is one of the COVID-19 hotspots with over 4,000 deaths due to the virus.

Fortunately, Obiena has located hundreds of miles away from the badly hit northern Italy.


‘Nerve-wracking’: No Tokyo 2020 Olympics build-up yet for EJ Obiena

Tokyo 2020 Olympics-bound Ernest Obiena hasn’t joined a major competition yet this year due to the cancellation of several sports events.

NO TOURNEYS. EJ Obiena waits for the start of his pole vaulting season as Europe is put on lockdown. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

NO TOURNEYS. Ernest Obiena waits for the start of his pole vaulting season as Europe is put on lockdown. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The escalating coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the Tokyo 2020 Olympics preparations of Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena. With the cancellation of several sports events.

“It’s a bit nerve-wracking [since I] haven’t been able to compete, but we have contingency plans if things do go south,” Obiena told Rappler.

Full Article Here


The dream that matters most for Ernest Obiena

“My target in Tokyo is gold. Not impossible, but very difficult,’’. Obiena told the Inquirer during a break in training with renowned Ukranian coach Vitaly Petrov in Formia, Italy.

The 24-year-old son of the Philippines’ former pole vault idol Emerson Obiena.

Dreamed of victory in the 2019 Asian Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar.

It came true.

Shortly after, another gold came at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy, with a new national record of 5.76 meters.

Just two months after the Universiade, Obiena secured the Tokyo berth by clearing 5.81 meters and surpassing the qualifying standard of 5.80 by a hair.

So to speak, in a tournament in Chiara, Italy, last Sept. 3.


Full Article Here


Athlete of the year
Ernest Obiena celebrates his maiden golden victory in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by: Dominic Canonizado/Sagisag PH

Pinoyathletics Male Athlete of the Year

For the second year in a row, The Tall Skinny Guy Ernest Obiena – Ernest Obiena has run off with the most coveted MVP award, the Pinoyathletics athlete of the year. Forget the PSA Sports Writer awards; we actually do our research.

Also, Ernest Obiena’s achievements might not fit on one screen. Olympic Qualifier, SEA Record, SEA Games Record, SEA Games Gold, World University Games Champion, Asian Champion, Asian Championship meet record, National Record, Qualified and competed at worlds.

In conclusion, a tough decision due to the high number of Golds and National Recordset in Men’s. However, Ernest Obiena, as the only Olympic qualifier and two major titles, seems like the most logical choice.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 112

Fil-Heritage athlete Willie Morrison who set a new Phi Record in the Shotput and won the first SEA Games Gold in Shotput in the event’s history, was runner-up. Morrison, whose PB is 20.40m, aims to better the 21.10m standard for the Tokyo Olympics

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 113

Therefore, Veteran Eric Cray, who was the MVP from 2013-2016, took 3rd spot. In conclusion, defending his SEA Games title for the 4th time and going down as the greatest ever athlete in 400 Hurdles in SEA Games History.

It was a tough call with Clinton Bautista, Melvin Calano, and Aries Toledo, also winning golds at SEA Games and Lilly Carter breaking the Phi Record in 800m also performed strongly in 2019.

Winner – Ernest Obiena  (Pole Vault)

2. Willie Morrison (Shotput)

3. Eric Cray (400 Hurdles) 

Honorable Mention: Clinton Kingsley Bautista (Hurdles), Melvin Calano (Javelin), Aries Toledo (Decathlon), Carter Lilly (800m)

Pinoyathletics Men’s Athlete of the Year Previous Winners

Report on 2018 Athlete of the Year

Capas, Tarlac

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 114

Ernest Obiena celebrates his maiden golden victory in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by: Dominic Canonizado/Sagisag PH


Ernest Obiena Finally gets his Gold

Ernest John Obiena, in his 4th SEA Games, finally claimed the SEA Games Gold medal (Dec 7. 2019), setting the SEA Games record at 5.45m.

Not bad at all for a tall skinny guy.

In contrast, Obiena had already won the 2019 Asian Championship and the 2019 World University Games Championship.

And competed at worlds and qualified for the Olympics. The Gold was the 3rd for Philippine Athletics after Hallasgo and Knott in women’s Marathon and 200m.

He had been deluded by years of the SEA Games title. In Myanmar’s first SEA Games in 2013, he wound up fourth at 17 years of age.

In 2015 he took silver in Singapore behind Pooranot of Thailand.

In 2017 he looked sure of gold, but a leg injury in training the night before he was due to fly off robbed him of the chance to represent the Philippines.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 115

Ernest Obiena celebrates his maiden golden victory in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City Athletics Stadium in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by: Dominic Canonizado/Sagisag PH


SEA Games Record

Still, the 23-year-old did not give up and won very comfortably over his old nemesis Pooranot with a leap and new SEA Games record of 5.45m.

Despite being far from his SEA, National Record, and Olympic qualifying PB of 5.81m.

Ernest Obiena is the only athlete in Philippine Athletics qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the cut-off for qualification being June 30, 2019.

Having secured the win and the SEA Games record.

Ernest Obiena opted to rest himself up for bigger meets such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year, among others.

Also, not putting the SEA Games record up too high so he can break it again in 2 years.

Pooranot took silver in 5.20m, at Iskandar Alwi of Malaysia took bronze at 5.00m.

Ernest John Obiena primary opponent Amsam-Ang the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist, who has a PB of 5.60m, did not join the meet. 

Another youngster Hokett Delos Santos, the 2018 SEA Youth Champion, cleared 4.60m for the 5th of the 5 entries.

The young Hokett, who is 17 years of age, is coached by Ernest Obiena’s Father and coach Emerson Obiena.

EJ is now training in Italy with Coach Vitaliy Petrov, the former world record holder and Olympic and World Champion the Great Sergey Bubka.


With the Legends

Ernest Obiena joins the Great Fil-Heritage athlete Edward Lasquete the first Filipino athlete to reach 5 meters. Who won 3 straight SEA Games titles in 1991, 1993, 1995.

And went to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. And also the somewhat forgotten Chamberlain Gonzales, who won the SEA Games title in 1983.

**Apologies News Delayed as Phigsoc and PSC did not grant us a media pass

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 116

Ernest John Obiena became the First Filipino to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. EJ leaped 5.81m at a meet at Chiari, Italy.

In doing so, Ernest Obiena beat the challenging 5.80m qualifying mark for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

EJ had won the Asian Games in 5.76m, which qualified him for the World Championships, which will be staged from 27 September to 6 October in Doha, Qatar.

The deadline for the 2019 World Championships is September 6.

And Ernest Obiena is the sole qualifier, with nobody else meeting the world championships’ qualification standards. 

EJ mark of 5.81m was also a SEA Record and National Record.

At the last 3 SEA Games, the gold had eluded Ernest John Obiena. 4th in 2013, Silver in 2015, and out of 2017 due to an injury the week before.

In 2019 Ernest Obiena went well ahead of his nearest Thai Rival, the 2018 Asian Games Bronze medalist Patasphong Amsam-Ang who has cleared 5.60m so far this year.

Based on the IAAF Rankings (best performance), EJ is ranked 10th in the world (not the IAAF Top Lists based on 3-5 accounts that Pinoyathletics will totally disregard)

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 117

Photo Gallery:




30.08.19 Ernest Obiena 9th in Prestigious Diamond League Final

Continuing are reporting of the results. Which what we do, KEEPING IT REAL!

Here is Ernest Obiena in the diamond league Final Aug 27-28 in Zurich, Austria.

Finished 9th of 13 in the Diamond League Finals with a 5.58m effort.

Pinoyathletics heard he has been jumping 5.80m plus in training.

Hopefully, he gets that breakthrough soon as the sole qualifier for World Champs in Doha next month.

The deadline for world champs qualifying is September 6.

2019 August - September Philippines Athletics

Obiena Qualifies for Diamond League Finals

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 120

Ernest Obiena last night just missed  5.80 in Germany.
Just caught it. He won and set the stadium record at 5.63.
He qualified for the Diamond League finals.
The official results from a SPECIAL EVENTS-Meeting two days ago in Germany, where OBIENA won the PV with his 3rd best performance this season.

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1 Million Incentive for Winning World University Games?

Meanwhile, as Per the Law Phil Act, which states 1 million pesos incentive for an athlete who wins a gold medal at a world championship.


SECTION 8. Cash Incentives for Athletes. — National athletes and other athletes who are not officially or currently members of the national training pool but who have otherwise represented the country in international sports competitions, who won gold, silver, and bronze medals in international sports competitions shall be entitled to cash incentives in the following amounts:

a. Individual Events

v. One million pesos (PI,000,000.00) for Asian Para Games and World-level competitions held at least every two years with at least forty-five (45) countries participating;

EJ Obiena scores back-to-back in Italian tilts

By Joey Villar

MANILA, Philippines — Days after improving the national mark that he himself set.

Filipino pole vaulter Ernest Obiena struck gold in the Citta di Padova Atletica Mondiale 2019 at the Stadio Euganeo in Padua, Italy Tuesday night.

Indicating his readiness to do good in the coming Southeast Asian Games.

The 23-year-old Obiena registered 5.55 meters, defeating Greek Theodo Chrysanthopoulos and Argentinian German Pablo Chiaraviglio, who posted 5.30m.

https://www.philstar.com/sports/2019/07/18/1935683/ej-obiena-scores-back-back-italian tilts#MWxdOLWzmeCO4gZP.99

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 121

Ernest Obiena added his First Global title to his ever-growing repertoire of achievements.

A few hours ago, the 23-year-old Asian Athletics champion took the Gold Medal at the World University Games in Napoli, Italy.

The Mark is the first Global Title ever won by a Filipino in athletics.

The performance puts him ahead of the Legendary Lydia De Vega.

Ernest Obiena Wins First-Ever Global Title in Athletics

Ernest Obiena Cleared a new Personal Best and southeast Asian Record of 5.76m.

Also, Improving on the 5.71m he had made at the Asian Athletics championships he had made in Doha, Qatar, in April this year.

Above all, the 5.71 tied the qualifying standard for the World Championships, which will also be staged in Doha, Qatar, produced from Sept 27 to Oct 6. 

Ernest Obiena’s recent improvement puts him just 4km away (5.80m) from qualifying for Tokyo Olympics. With the qualifying period being May 1st, 2019 – June 29th, 2020.

5.80 was also a magic number as the meet record of Istvan Bagyula (Hungary) set in 1991 was also the meet record.

Torben Blech of Germany took silver in a new PB of 5.76m, losing EJ’s countback. While Ben Broeders (Belgium), the 2017 European U23 Champion, took the bronze in 5.51m.

Ernest Obiena is an Engineering Student at UST. Vitaliy Petrov is currently coaching him. Who was the coach of Former World Record Holder Sergei Bubka?

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 122

Ernest Obiena 5.51m in Poland

BYDGOSZCZ, 11-12.06
1. Irena Szewińska Memorial
Day 1
1 WOJCIECHOWSKI Paweł 89-06-06 (POL) 5.81
    (5.41/1 5.61/1 5.71/1 5.81/2 6.01/xxx)
2 DUTRA Augusto 90-07-16 (BRA) 5.71
    (5.41/1 5.61/2 5.71/1 5.81/xxx)
3 LISEK Piotr 92-08-16 (POL) 5.71
    (5.41/1 5.61/2 5.71/3 5.81/xxx)
4 PACHO Jose 96-01-30 (ECU) 5.51 NR
5 SKORISH Lev 96-04-12 (ISR) 5.51 pb
6 OBIENA Ernest John 95-11-17 (PHI) 5.51
7 SOBERA Robert 91-01-19 (POL) 5.41
E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 123


Ernest Obiena wins street Padova Pole Vault Meet.

Ernest John Obiena clinches the gold in the International Pole Vault Meeting in Padova, Italy, registering 5.50m. Salti in Plaza 31.05.2019 a street pole vault meet.

In conclusion, Obiena bested the six-man field, including Alione Sene of France and Meditteranean U23 Championship bronze medalist Allesandro Sinno of Italy, who took the silver bronze with an identical effort of 5.30meters.

However, Ernest Obiena tried for a new record of 5.75 meters, but he failed. It may be recalled that Obiena won the gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships last April in Doha, Qatar.

Where he set a new Asian mark and PH National record of 5.71 meters.

EJ continues his training in Europe as he gears up for more IAAF Diamond League events and zeroes in on an Olympic berth.

May 3 Diamond League

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 1

23-year-old Ernest Obiena finally had the breakthrough he toiled away so many years to get.

Ernest cleared 5.71m the claiming the gold medal a the Asian Championships. He Upgraded from his bronze medal two years ago in India.

Ernest Obiena beat a class field that included Two world-class Chinese athletes and his Thai Tormentor Patsaphong Amsam-Ang, who settled for 5th with a season-best of 5.51m.

Two Chinese Zhang Wei, the 2015 Asian Champion, took Silver, and Huang Bokai took the bronze.


  • A New Personal Best improving on his long-standing previous mark set in 2016 in Germany of 5.61m
  • An Asian Championship Record
  • A southeast Asian Record
  • A New Philippines Record

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 3

Most noteworthy is the Ernest Obiena leap of 5.71m was the exact qualification required for the World Championships, which will also be in Doha later this year.

EJ will need to climb to 5.80m to Qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo. 

Ernest Obiena 5.71m eclipsed the Championship Record of Gregori Yegorov of Kazakhstan, who leaped 5.70m in 1993 at the Asian Championships in Manila.

2 years before Ernest Obiena was born. Yegorov still holds the Asian record at 5.90m.

At the last Asian Champs in 2017, Eric Cray took the Gold in the 400 Hurdles.

Eric is no participating in 400 Hurdles; he is running the 100 and 200.

 Mark Harry Diones took silver in Triple Jump’s last Asian Champs two years ago; he qualified for the Triple Jump Final, which is to be played later today.

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 4

It was a long journey for EJ, who just came back into competition earlier in the year. Sidelined from the 2017 SEA Games due to injury a day before the games.

Above all, EJ was helped a lot by Dr. Casuga, who came in after the Asian Games to help with Ernest Obiena’s focus.

But of course, the man behind it all was Coach Vitaly Petrov who guided the Former world record holder and Olympic Champion Sergei Bubka, among many others. 

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 5

EJ Posted the Following

We got it! Proud to say after all the trouble, we have made it happen. 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 heartbreaks 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.

This Win is not just for me.

It is for a coach, Vitaliy Petrov, who has sacrificed a lot for me and pushed me and still pushing me to become better not just in sports but also in life.

I owe you a lot.

This is for my Family, who has been giving me endless support in what I do. 

And for the were there with me in the doctor’s office when I can’t stand on my two feet, thank you very much, Sir Jim, for believing in me and having my back when I needed it.

This is to my ever so patient PT, Marvin, we have made it back.

This is for all my sponsors who have believed in me, NIKE and USANA.

This is to my teammates, Friends, Doctors, everyone who stayed with me thru the hard times.

This is not MY win; this is OUR win, and I can’t thank you all enough.

Ernest Obiena
Ernest Obiena

Photo Credit: Asian Athletics. Ernest Obiena

PS: Thank you to Carla Chew, Henry Bigay, Obiena Family, Rosaassociati, Dr. Tabberah, Dr. Casuga, Ed Lasquette

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 7

Ernest Obiena finished behind Thailand’s Patsaphong Amsan-Ang in what would be there the first encounter for 2019.

Ang the 2018 Asian Games Bronze medallist.

At the 2019 Polish Indoor Championships in SZCZECIN, Poland, on February 12. Ang finished 9th in 5.26 m, beating rival EJ Obiena, who cleared the height in 10th.

However, he won on countback as he cleared on his first height, whereas EJ cleared on his 2nd attempt after failing his first.

Piotr Lisek of Poland won in 5.76m on countback with 11 athletes from 8 different countries represented.

Zhang Wei, the 2015 Asian Champion from China, finished 6th in 5.46m, a new season-best.

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 8

Besides, Amsam-Ang had his second meet his year with his first leap of 5.20m on February 3, 2019. He is currently training in Poland.

He improved from 5.20 to 5.55m last year. And led the 2018 SEA Rankings.

He will be EJ’s main threat in the 2019 SEA Games.

In contrast, EJ has leaped 4 times this year already.

He leads the 2019 SEA Rankings with 5.40m at the Orlen Cup on February 4.


  • Feb 4 – Orlen Cup (Poland) 5.40m
  • Feb 6 – Orlen Copernicus Cup (Poland) 5.28m
  • Feb 9 – Linz Indoor Meeting  (Austria) NH
  • Feb 12 – Polish Indoor Meet 5.26m


However, Thailand Chayanisa Choemchundee missed the women’s pole vault due to injury. While China’s Li Ling finished 2nd behind Alysha Newman of Canada, both clearing 4.63m. Ling is the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games Champion.


Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 9

Ernest Obiena 5.40 

Ernest John Obiena leaped 5.40m at the Orlen Cup at Lodz, Poland, on Feb 4. Obiena finished 7th place of 10 entries.

His Personal best is 5.61m, set in 2016 in Germany. Obiena is currently training in Formia, Italy.

Also, the 5.40 was a slight improvement on Obiena’s last outing, in which he finished 7th at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 5.30m.

Obiena is targetting the gold at the SEA Games in December, where he will face the formidable challenge of Asian Games bronze medallist Amsam-Ang of Thailand, who leaped 5.50m in Jakarta.

The Philippines will host the 2019 SEA Games.

Ernest Obiena Archives 2018-2019 10

Obiena skips studies to focus on an athletic career


by Nick Giongco

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena is zeroing in on his career as an athlete by taking a leave of absence from his engineering studies at the University of Santo Tomas, the Philippine Track and Field Association (PATAFA) said.

(EJ Missed UAAP due to missing classes. It’s hard to balance Engineering at UST with elite athletic commitments.

He is expecting to come back to school after a year)

After a disappointing performance in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, where he placed seventh overall.

The 6-2 Obiena wants to make up and make heads turn when the country hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games later in the year.

(EJ leaped 5.30m at Asian Games)

In fact, the Obiena has been training in Doha for the past few months under longtime coach Vitaly Petrov of Ukraine.

Who helped guide the likes of Olympic and world champions Sergey Bubka and Yelena Isinbayeva and reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz da Silva.

(Off-topic Petrov shares the same name as a famous Formulae 1 Race Car Driver)

Obiena spent some time with Petrov in Formia, Italy, but Petrov has relocated to Doha, and Obiena had no choice but to follow the revered coach.

(Petrov only went to Doha for a month; he is now back training in Formia, Italy)

Obiena’s best leap is 5.61 meters, but he hasn’t been doing well as of late but is moving heaven and earth to make a rousing comeback in time for the SEA Games.

(EJ leaped 5.51m earlier in 2018, his PB of 5.61 is from 2016)

In the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, Obiena settled for silver and was a cinch to win the gold two years later when Singapore hosted the biennial sports fest.

But on the eve of his departure for Singapore, Obiena suffered an ACL injury that kept him out of the event.

EJ holds the national record of 5.51 meters, a mark superior to the gold medal-winning 5.35 meters registered by Thailand’s Porranot Purahong in the 2017 SEAG.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 124

(Please note for this year the Season Leader in Men’s Pole Vault is a Bronze medalist at Asian Games Patasaphong Amsam-Ang who improved his PB to 5.55m, while we can go off SEA Games Gold Medal in 2017, Amsam-Ang, in the meantime, has improved from 5.40 to 5.55 in 2018).

**Comments in Red Font



2018 Asian Games  Ernest John Obiena

2018 Asian Games Rankings of Philippine Athletes

Rankings of Philippine Athletes


  • EVENT: Pole Vault
  • 2018 Asian Ranking: 7th (4th June)
  • SEA Record Holder, Asian Bronze Medalist 2017, SEA Games 2015 Silver  Bouncing back off injury, EJ occupied the #1 spot until July. His key opponent will be Changrui Xue of China, the defending champion who has leaped 5.71m this year. And has a PB of 5.85m. Furthermore, Xue is a high-quality international athlete finishing 4th in the world in the 2017 World Champs.


The EJ target is 5.75m, and the Gold (his PB is 5.61m). Hisyam Hazim of Saudi Arabia, who is 20 years old, has leaped 5.63m this year.

Most noteworthy, Huang Bokai 5.61m and Jie Tao 5.51m (PB 5.61m) both finished ahead of EJ when they last met in Germany.

In recent form, the top 4 guys, 2 from China, 1 from Korea, and Japan, have recently been consistently over 5.60.

PA Predict: Top 5, slight possibility of bronze if in shape to break his PB.

2018 Asian Games Rankings of Philippine Athletes Men’s Pole Vault
55.63Al HizamKSA
75.51ObienaPHIPB 5.61


Ernest John Obiena 5.75m target to win at Asiad

Article By Judith Caringal, DZSR SPORTS RADIO


Ernest EJ Obiena admits. His 5.51 meter leap at the International Stabboc Meet in Germany is a big step to winning the gold medal at the Asian Games.

While in a conversation with RP2, EJ related.


“I’m quite happy with 5.51, it’s a step forward, a small reward for my team’s effort from the surgeon, PT, sir Jimthis is a big step towards winning the gold at Asiad.


Especially relevant is his target is to jump 5.75 meters in his remaining stints in Europe.

In conclusion, that would secure EJ of a gold medal in the Indonesia Asian Games.


“A Chinese jumps at 5.71m, so a 5.75 would assure me of the gold.It would be a good fight for the gold, if I could jump close to that”.


Therefore Obiena resumes training under coach Vitaly Petrov in Italy, where they shall reach his 18-step approach.


‘Now, I’m 16 steps, 2 steps from my regular approach. My knee is not strong as it was before , need to adjust to my speed , can’t have a fast run-up which can be converted into the height of my take off, we must try to mix and match everything.


Despite several adjustments, he needs to make…. one thing is sure, EJ is on the right track for the Asian Games set for August 25-30.


EJ Obiena and his mother Jeanette talked to Radyo Pilipinas2(Dzsr SportsRadio)918khz am band.


Obiena Seasons Best 5.51m Germany

Ernest Obiena improved his season’s best to 5.51m, with his third ever-best jump. Hence the 22-year-old finished 7th in the Himmelssturmer-Cup in Germany over the weekend.

It is most noteworthy that EJ holds the SEA  Record at 5.61m; he also leaped 5.55m in 2016. l of August.

While his next tournament is the JUMP & FLY – 8. Internationales BAXTER Leichtathletikmeeting in Germany on June 30.  In preparation for the Asian Games in August.

While Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany won the meet in 5.81m, the 2013 World Champion Piotr Lisek of Poland, the 2017 World Silver medalist, was second in 5.71m.

At the meet third place, a couple of Chinese athletes went to Huang Bokai, who leaped 5.61m, bronze medalist at the 2015 Asian Champs. Yao Jie was 5th in 5.51m,

While EJ is ranked 4th in Asia with the 5.51m leap.

Most noteworthy, the last Asian Games in 2014 was won 5.55m. So he is looking like a severe medal contender for Asian Games.

Especially relevant China’s Changrui Xue, The Asian Games Champion, who was 4th in the world champs last year, leads with 5.71m.

While Hussein Hisam Al Hizam of Saudi Arabia has leaped 5.63m, 5.60m, and 5.55m.

Yao and Huang of China have both leaped 5.61m.


Ernest Obiena goes 5.40m in Ostrava

While Coming back from a horrific leg injury sustained just a day before leaving for the 2017 SEA Games. Ernest John Obiena,  22.

The southeast Asian Record Holder and 2017 Bronze medalist in the Pole Vault.

Bounced back with a 5.40m seasons best in Ostrava at the Golden  Spike World Challenge meet.

Obiena beat one athlete and placed 10th on countback with a 5.40m effort.

The starting height here was 5.20m, unlike in Rome at the Diamond League, where Obiena has to start at 5.36m. 

Ernest John Obiena 5.75m
Ernest John Obiena 5.75m target for Asian Games.

Consequently, Obiena opened his season in March with 4.90m at the Taipei Pole Vault meet.

Hence he was initially selected with 7 other athletes for the Asian Games. As his best of

5.61m was above the 4th place of last Asian Games (5.45m) and his bronze at the 2017 Asian Championships in India (5.50m).

Obiena mark of 5.40m now puts him at 5th place in the Asian Games based on the 2014 Results.

While Obiena narrowly missed out on selection in the 2014 Asian Games as he was not accredited on time, so this will be his first appearance at Asian Games.

Pawel Wojciechowski of Poland, the 2011 World Champion, won the event in 5.75m from

Sam Kendricks, the 2017 World Champion, and Scott Houston of the USA both had 5.60m.

EJ was the only Asian athlete who entered.

**More write-ups on other Ostrava Golden Spike Events Coming Soon; stay tuned


Ernest Obiena first Filipino Athlete to Join Diamond League -Result

May 20, 2018

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 125

Ernest Obiena

Unfortunately, Ernest Obiena could not clear the starting 5.36m height at the Diamond League, with 3 attempts. 

Wishing him better luck for his next outing. 4.90m to 5.36m is quite a giant leap in a short period of time.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 126


Southeast Asian Pole Vault Record Holder Ernest John Obiena will join the world elite with the creme dela creme of world-class Pole Vaulters.

Most noteworthy is that EJ is the first  Filipino invited to join the prestigious IAAF  Diamond League in Rome, The Pietro Mennea Memorial meet tomorrow. 

While the Philippines, other top athletes, Eric Cray, participated in the World Challenge series. Also, Obiena boosts a Personal best of 5.61m from Leverkusen last July.

While Obiena was the silver medalist at the 2015 SEA Games and the Bronze medalist at the 2017 Asian Championships.

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 127

Unfortunately, an injury in training a few days before the SEA Games sidelined EJ from winning the much-coveted gold.

Hence, after many rehab months, EJ opened with 4.90m in Nantou at the Taipei Pole Vault indoor meet. Before heading back to Formia in Italy to train.

While In 2018, Phassaphong Amsam-Ang of Thailand, the SEA Games silver medallist, leads the  2018 SEA Rankings in Pole Vault.

Ronnie Baker, who beat World Indoor 60m champion and World silver medallist Christian Coleman will line up against him again in the 100 Meters.


Obiena Opens Season

March 25, 2018

Ernest Obiena opened his first comp back off injury with a 4.90m.  At the Taipei Indoor Pole Vault, meet at Nantou.


“Good to get through injury free.

But I would have liked to have jumped better.

I was surprised my speed was still there but I had difficulty controlling the pole. I will get better.” said the Asian Bronze medalist.

Who is preparing for Asian Games later this year.


The Jump ranks EJ 4th on the SEA Ranking lists behind Thai Umsam-Ang 5.31m, Iskandar Alwi of Malaysia 5.31m, and Idan Richsan Indonesia 4.90m.

Two other self-funded athletes Riezel Buenaventura the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games bronze medallist, leaped 3.50m #5 2018 SEA Rankings, and National Junior Record Holder Emily ‘Siobe’ Obiena 3.30m #7 2018 SEA Rankings.


Ernest Obiena to make a return to competition at the Taipei Open

March 15, 2018


After being sidelined with an injury a day before the 2017 SEA Games. Asian Bronze Medallist in the Pole Vault Ernest John Obiena will be returning to competition at the Taipei Open on March 21.

Obiena leading up to the SEA Games, improved his southeast Asian Record to 5.61m in Germany.

He was looking to improve his 2015 SEA Games Silver and give its first Gold in the Pole Vault since Edward Lasquete in 1995.

But an unfortunate leg injury in training sidelined him from getting that gold.

Since then, Ernest has been working on his rehab via strength coach and athletic patron James Michael Lafferty.

The 22-year-old EJ, a student at the University of Santo Tomas, had to skip the UAAP.

As he was not quite ready to compete at that stage.

In the meantime, he has been clearing 5.20 up in training. 

Meanwhile, one of his two Thai rivals, Amsam-Ang, the SEA Games Silver medallist, has cleared 5.31m in Thailand.

This, however, does not bother EJ too much, as he is now thinking longer term.

Eyeing a medal at the Asian Games as the next step in his progress.

Selection is a tricky process, having missed the SEA Games.

Where Gold and Silver were secured, however, EJ, before his injury, had already surpassed the Gold Mark of Asian Games, which is 5.61m.

He also had a bronze at Asian Champs, which would class as a top finish in a major international meet during 2017.

If we are to go off third criteria, of being subject to fitness 4th place in the Asian Games, the task force is 5.45m.

Which is well within his capability. 

So on all 3 counts, EJ is very much qualified for the Asian Games.

And the support he needs should be given to him so he can win a medal.

Also attending the Taipei Open will be the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games Bronze medalist Riezel Buenaventura and EJ’s younger sister Emily Obiena who holds the Philippine Junior Record now a senior athlete.


Interesting Statistics Ernest John Obiena

Here are some interesting Statistics on Filipino SEA Games Silver Medalist Ernest John Obiena.

Ernest Obiena chilling out with his father and Coach Emerson Obiena at the Singapore SEA Games 2015 (photo credit: Veloci L/Time Studio)
Ernest Obiena chilling out with his father and Coach Emerson Obiena at the Singapore SEA Games 2015 (photo credit: Veloci L/Time Studio) Photo Credit: www.ernestobiena.com

Records Broken

  • EJ has broken the Philippine National Junior Record 18 times from 2012-2014
  • He has broken the National Record 9 times from 2014-2015
  • He broke the National Indoor twice.
  • He broke the National Indoor Junior twice.
  • Currently, EJ has all four Male National Records for the Philippines Men’s and Boys outdoor and indoor.
  • He co-holds the SEA Record (not SEA meet Record) at 5.30m with Pooranot of Thailand.
  • He set the NJR eleven times from 2011 to 2014
  • Still, it holds the UAAP Record at 4.50m
  • He has the Fil-Chinese Senior and Junior Records.



Career Progression Pole Vault and Highlights 2011-2015

20114.05m SingaporeASG NJR
20114.31m PasigFil-Chinese.02.12NJR
20124.45m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR
20124.50mGoldPasigUAAP04.12.12UAAP Record, NJR
20134.54mGoldPasigPNG.05.13Juniors NJR
20134.60m SingaporeOpen NJR
20134.75m SingaporeOpen NJR
20134.80m Hong KongOpen NJR
20134.90m Hong Kong  NJR
20134.95m1ManilaAteneo Weekly Relay Serie14.09.13NJR
20134.90m4NyapitdawSEA Games.12.13 
20145.00m1NantouIndoor NIR/NJ IR
20145.01m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR/NR
20145.05m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR/NR
20145.06m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR/NR
20145.10m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR/NR
20145.15m1PasigWeekly Relays NJR/NR
20145.20m1SingaporeOpen NJR/NR
20145.21m1PasigWeekly Relays28.09.14NJR/NR
20155.25mSilverSingaporeSEA Games.06.13 







































*Since this was published, E.J has increased the Philippines record to 5.61m


On the Mend – The Remarkable recovery of Ernest Obiena

January 25, 2018

Good to see the remarkable recovery of Ernest Obiena back from a terrible injury before the 2017 SEA Games in August.

Which deprived him of the SEA Games Gold.


From James Michael Lafferty

EJ Ernest Obiena is the national champion and record holder in Pole Vault.

He is ranked in the top 35 in the world and top 5, aged 21 and under.

In late August, just before the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games in which he was a virtual Sure Gold Medal, he brutally tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his knee in a freak accident, landing off balance on the pit.

ACL tears used to be career enders until reconstructive surgery.

It’s still not a sure thing. No national track athlete has ever come back.

In mid-September, EJ underwent surgery with Dr. Tabbarah of St. Luke’s utilizing a more advanced bone graft/patellar tendon replacement. 

Carol Lafferty and I started his rehab a few days later, starting very light and progressing gradually.

With EJ’s incredible work ethic and discipline, we have progressed steadily over the past 4 months, logging 3-4 sessions per week, including yoga and visualization exercises.

EJ’s strength is at an all-time high in key lifts like Bench Press with +20% gains.

And importantly, he is back now all the way, as today’s bounding drills demonstrate.

Can you believe this is someone who underwent complete reconstructive surgery just 4 months ago?

EJ will start vaulting again tomorrow.

Look out for this young star in the Summer 2018 Asian Games and 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Coach Carol Lafferty and I are both so proud of you, EJ!


From Ernest Facebook Post

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 128

To everyone who has been following my recovery, I am very thankful for your support and encouragement.

I would like to let you know that I am starting to jump and feel like myself again.

I made 4.70 out of 8 steps a couple of times today, and I want to see what I can do, but UAAP is not the meet to do it.

I would like to let you know that I would not participate in the upcoming UAAP to be held on February 7 in Ultra, Pasig.

I wasn’t given medical clearance to compete for many reasons but, most importantly, the recovery period.

4.5 months post-operation, competing might be the worst thing to do while I am undergoing rehab.

I am distraught not to be able to compete and contribute to the team.

Soon the time would be fitting to see what I could do.

I hope everyone would still watch and support our local athlete this UAAP.


Thank you, and have a good day!

For More Great News on Ernest Obiena


Ernest Obiena then and now

Ernest Obiena goes into the SEA Games with much more experience than he had 2 years ago.

In 2013 EJ was 4th at the SEA Games at 18 years of age; in 2015, he improved to silver. Now he looks like he is in the driver’s seat for the Gold.

The last man to win a gold at the SEA Games in this event was Edward Lasquete back in 1995. He won 3 golds in 1991, 1993, 1995.

Obiena comes back with a 5.61m SEA Record and Asian Bronze medal.

He is an overwhelming favorite for the gold in Malaysia with his nearest rival 5.40m.


Unfortunately, EJ Obiena was sidelined by an unforeseen injury in training leading up to SEA Games was unable to participate. Pinoyathletics wishes him and his team all the best for a speedy recovery for his attempt to win the Gold at the 2018 Asian Games.

Obiena Breaks National and southeast Asian Record in Pole Vault

Aug 2, 2017

After a yo-yo up and down season.

While Funds, then winning Bronze Asian Champs, then broken poles.

And now another up breaking records.

Despite all this, Ernest Obiena leaped 5.61m to break his own SEA Record and Philippine Record of 5.55m set last year at the Singapore Open.

Hence up and past the 5.60m barrier/threshold ceiling.

So Obiena leaped 5.61m at Stabhochsprung Classics in Leverkusen, Germany on 27 July 2017 Obiena and came in 4th.

The leap also extended his lead over his nearest rival, Thai Patasphong Amsam-Ang (5.40m 4th Asian champ). 

Who he will be facing in Kuala Lumpur in a few weeks at the SEA Games.

Especially relevant was at the Singapore SEA Games in 2015 EJ was second in 5.25m behind Pooltong Pooranot of Thailand.

Both Patasphong and Pooranot will represent Thailand in the 2017 SEA Games. EJ is one of the vital gold medal candidates at the SEA Games 2017.

EJ a UST student who is training in Italy with coach Vitaliy Petrov, the former coach of pole vault great Sergei Bubka.

Ernest Obiena

PV 1 Menno Vloon (ned) 5.76; 2 Shawn Barber (can) 5.71; 3 Arnaud Art (bel) 5.71; 4 Ernest John Obiena (phi) 5.61; 5 Karsten Dilla 5.61; 6 Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (99) 5.61; 7 Tomas Wecksten (fin) 5.51; Dominik Alberto (sui) 5.51; 9 Rasmus Jorgensen (den) 5.41; 10 Tobias Scherbarth 5.41; 11 Torben Blech 5.21; 12 Tommi Holttinen (fin) 5.21

Damaged poles derail Obiena’s SEA Games preparation


damaged poles
source: https://ernestobiena.com/

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena’s celebratory mood immediately turned into a big disappointment after learning his poles were broken during transit at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy.

Obiena, 21, finished with 5.50 meters behind gold medal winner Bangchao Ding of China (5.65m) and silver medallist Masaki Ejima of Japan (5.65m) in the Asian Athletics Championship last Thursday.

He surpassed the 5.40 m finish of his possible Southeast Asian Games rival Patsapong Amsam-Ang of Thailand.

But on Friday, Obiena discovered that his equipment was damaged beyond repair.

This could seriously affect his preparation for the upcoming SEA Games to be held from August 19 to 13.


“I was looking forward to representing my country in the upcoming SEA Games but I’m not sure anymore,” Obiena added. “I am humbly asking for your help. Any amount will be of big help.”


Obiena said the cost of the light poles and the pole bag is $7,020.

The incident is now under investigation.






EJ Obiena nabs Historic bronze for the Philippines at Asian Championships.

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Article by Andrew Pirie

ATFS Statistician 

July 7, 2017

Ernest Obiena
Ernest Obiena
source: www.ernestobiena.com

21-year-old Ernest Obiena beat a class field to take the bronze medal at the 2017 Asian Championships.

Ernest Obiena leaped 5.50m to tie his season’s best in Slovakia last month.

The Philippines’ last time won a medal in Athletics at the Asian Championships was 8 years ago, in 2009 in Guangzhou, China, where Marestella Torres took the Gold in the Women’s Long Jump.

Ernest Obiena finished behind Ding Bangchao, the 20-year-old China man who won his first Asian title in 5.65m. 17-year-old Masaki Ejima of Japan took silver in 5.65m

20-year-old Thai Patasphong Amsam-Ang continued his meteoric rise with 5.40m and placed 4th.

Amsam-Ang, who was not a 5m jumper last year, defeated SEA Games Champion Pooranot at the Thai University Games in August, then recording 5.20m.

Emerging as the most likely challenger for Obiena at SEA Games.

The Thais now have great depth, with five men leaping over 5 meters in 2017. Obiena is the season leader in 2017 for southeast Asia, with 5.50m twice this year.

Obiena has a PB of 5.55m last April at the Singapore Open, the Philippine National, and SEA Record.

Last SEA Games in Singapore 2015, EJ took silver behind Poranot Poorahong of Thailand, whose leap of 5.30m is the SEA Games Record.

EJ, who has been training extensively in Italy under the IAAF Program, won a Euro League meet in Slovenia recently with 5.50m.

Giving him the top 2 vaults in South East Asia in 2017.


Yes. Man i know i could go toe to toe with the asia’s best. Said Obiena who is looking towards securing the SEA Games Gold medal in a few weeks in Malaysia.


E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 129


EJ Obiena leaps Season Best in Pole Vault to win the international meet.

Jun 22, 2017

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 130
Ernest Obiena and Slovenian Friends. 


21-year-old Ernest Obiena of the Philippines leaped a season’s best of 5.50m to bag first place in the international meet in Velenje, Slovenia.

Hence on June 20, he improved on his season’s best and southeast Asian lead.

While Obiena’s previous best was 5.43m indoors earlier in the year and 5.40m outdoors more recently.

His national record is 5.55m, set in April 2016 at the Singapore Open.

While on the same day, Wade Van Niekirk clocked 9.94 PB to win the 100m.

Obiena was a silver medalist in Singapore in 2015 behind Pooranot Poorahong of Thailand. In 2017 Ernest led the SEA Rankings.

Malaysian SEA Games Champion and SEA Record Holder Irfan Shamsuddin of Malaysia was fifth in the Men’s Discus.

Hence about 2 meters away from his SEA Record.

While Obiena and Eric Cray are sure gold medallists for the Philippines. Due to how far ahead they are from everyone else in South East Asia in their events.

As a result, Obiena and Cray were named in the Philippines 40 team squad for SEA Games 2017

Other overseas-based athletes to make the squad include Kayla Richardson, Kyla Richardson, Zion Corrales-Nelson, Trenten Beram, Tyler Ruiz, and Mary Joy Tabal.

SKUPNO – Palica, člani
Uvr. Št. AZS Priimek in time Klub Letnik Rezultat
1 89 0 Obiena Ernest Jhon PHL 1995 5.50
1 151 3341 Renner Robert SLO 1994 5.50
3 91 0 Miranda Ruben POR 1993 5.00
4 76 0 Music Max ITA 1998 4.80
4 161 16034 Tičar Ambrož SLO 1996 4.80
6 112 17331 Doberšek Rok SLO 1999 4.60
7 106 16788 Babič Denis SLO 2000 4.40
90 0 Lisek Piotr POL 1992 NM
74 0 Boni Marco ITA 1984 NM
75 0 Lama Francesco ITA 1997 DNS
226 0 Petričević Josip CRO 1992 DNS

Credit to Davian Clarke (Eric Cray’s coach) for informing me of the Results

Full Results


2017 UAAP Highlights: EJ Obiena defends UAAP Title in Pole Vault

Feb 11, 2017

Frequent travel to and from Europe has become routine for Ernest Obiena.

While he recently set a southeast Asian Indoor record in Germany (5.43m) only three days earlier.

Also, he was not able this year to break his 5.46m UAAP Record.

But quickly defended his title.

SEA Games Decathlon Bronze medalist Janry Ubas of FEU 4.50m and former Palaro Champion David Managuelod of UP 4.40m took silver and bronze.

Hence he attempted and failed to clear 5.47m, which would have beaten his UAAP Record.

Obiena is the SEA Games Silver medallist in the Pole Vault in the 2015 Singapore edition. In 2017 in Malaysia, he will be aiming to go one step further and win the first Gold medal since Fil-Heritage athlete Edward Lasquette in 1995.


E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 131


EJ Obiena new SEA and National Indoor Record behind Piotr Lisek

Feb 5, 2017

Ernest John Obiena has again broken his National Indoor and SEA Record in the Pole Vault with a leap of 5.43m at Potsdam.

The 21-year-old is the SEA Games Silver medallist in Singapore at the 2015 Games. Is aiming for gold at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Obiena currently holds the national record at 5.55m.


Reported from H. Hubbeling

-ASIAN AA Statistician-

-Co-editor to IAAF National Records for all countries-

Dear friends,

please find below an article about a new SEA Indoor and PHI Indoor Record

as achieved yesterday in our country.

This for your kind information.

Best regards,

Heinrich Hubbeling

-ASIAN AA Statistician-

POTSDAM (GER, Feb 4): Piotr Lisek cleared as the first Polish pole vaulter six meters. It happened at the 18th edition of the pole vault meet in Sterncenter Shopping Center of Potsdam.

Lisek won the competition; the result is also a new World lead.

He started with 543 and 563 in first, then 573 and 583 in second—first WL and national mark 593 in second and the same with 6 meters in the second attempt.

He is the 10th ever to go over that barrier indoors.

Second Croatian Ivan Horvat and third Karsten Dilla 563, fourth Florian Gaul 553 and fifth new national indoor record for Philippines Ernest John Obiena 5.43.

EJ Obiena breaks Pinoyathletics Indoor Record Pole Vault but still chasing Olympic Mark.

Feb 21, 2016


After breaking his own national record for the tenth time.

And adding nearly a full meter onto his UAAP Record with 5.46m.

Hence Obiena, after fulfilling his obligation with his school UST.

Obiena quickly boarded a plane for his next stint, half a world away.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing as the airline refused to allow EJ to board his poles.

Until about two hours before the flight.

Putting him under quite severe stress.

Obiena managed a very credible fourth place at the Asian Indoors in Doha, with a respectable 5.40m.

This smashed his 5.15m Pinoyathletics Indoor Record he set last year in Taiwan.

However, he is still yet to achieve the 5.70m Olympic qualifying mark for Rio. 

While the deadline by the organizers was set on July 11, 2016.

Furthermore, Obiena told an interviewer earlier he would have liked to have hit the qualification mark this month. 

Therefore allowing him more time to take a break.

And focus on training specifically for the Olympics in August.

However, this is no longer possible as the 20-year-old is still chasing the Olympic standard.

With very few meets left, the logical choice would be to return to Italy and compete in higher-level meets in Europe, which would be plenty.

Rather than competing in the National Games and National Open, which would not provide strong opponents.

Also, the attention turns towards other available meets in South East Asia.

The Winner of the Asian Indoors, Huang Bokai of China, broke the Championship Record with a 5.75m jump. Breaking the previous mark of Daichi Sawano 5.60m (Japan).

SEA Games Bronze Medalist Iskandar Alwi (Malaysia) registered 5.00m and placed 6th.

Asian Indoors 2016 Pole Vault

EJ Obiena does it again 5.45m improves SEA Record.

Sep 28, 2015

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 132

EJ Obiena kept his hunt for the 5.70m Olympic standard in check. At the same time, improving his recent National Record from 5.40 to 5.45m.

During the weekly relays and having a near miss at 5.50m.

Also, EJ Obiena, who trained in Italy on two occasions, continues to close in on the Olympic standard. At the same time, the mark improved on his SEA Record of 5.40m.

Such is the improvement that it’s hard to advise the newspapers how many times he has improved on the previous 5.00m marks of Ed Lasquete.

Hence a new mandate was issued to divide the Pole Vault into 4m and above and 4m and below jumpers starting in the following schedule B.

Only Eric Cray has ‘officially’ qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in all sports. Also, Obiena, who is in the high-performance program, is aiming to be the next one.


Olympic Hopeful Ernest Obiena smashes SEA Record in Pole Vault.

Sept 9, 2015

Ernest Obiena

Filipino Pole Vaulter Ernest John Obiena, who till turn 20 in December, took the Gold at the Thailand Track and Field Open.

Ernest just one of three athletes sent by the PATAFA to compete at the meet at Thammasat University, which has long been a regular outing for Philippine Track and Field athletes.

Obiena cleared a height of 5.40m. A significant improvement on his 5.30m leaps in Busan Korea back in May.

The mark is a new South East Asian Record, and it was previously 5.30 shared with Pooranot.

Obiena got back at his longtime rival Pooranot of Thailand, the SEA Games Champion, second in 5.20m.

At the SEA Games in Singapore, Obiena went in with the best PB of 5.30m. But was simply outclassed by Pooranot (who happens to be the same age as EJ). Who leaped a new SEA Games record of 5.30m.

Obiena had to settle for the silver with a 5.25m leap.

Obiena spent two months training at the IAAF High-Performance Centre in Formia, Italy, with his father, National Coach Emerson Obiena, under Vitaliy Petrov, the former world record coach holder Sergey Bubkha.

EJ, who had a 5.00 to 5.20 improvement last time he was sent proved well worth the investment.

The Olympic standard is 5.70m; EJ will have until July 11, 2016, to make his mark and get sent to Rio. Failing that, EJ will still only be 24 when the 2020 Olympics rolls around.

Ernest Obiena Ernest Obiena

Obiena breaks the SEA PV record. ‘Bones-up’ chances for gold at SEA Games

May 25, 2015

Emerson Obiena with Ernest John Obiena
Emerson Obiena with Ernest John Obiena Photo Credit: Veloci/Time Studio 


Aside from Eric Cray, pinoyathletics.info 2014 Rookie of the year Ernest John Obiena continues to break national records. 

The men’s Pole Vault, originally held by Fil-Heritage Edward Lasquete, reset by EJ last year with 5.01, 5.05, 5.15, 5.20, and 5.21. 5.21.

Thus setting the bar very high in a figurative and literal manner as the National Junior Record.

Breaking the 5.00m barrier was very important to the Obiena Family.

Ernest’s father and coach Emerson Obiena (former National Indoor Holder) promised his coach, the late Bill Villanueva, to produce a 5.00m vaulter.

Emerson kept his promise with EJ achieving this a few months before Coach Villanueva passed away.

Still not turning 20, even December, however, no longer eligible for Junior Records like Cray and Caleb Stuart, EJ has given the Philippines not just a National Record but a southeast Asian Record in this event this year.

This year’s EJ’s earlier performance at the Thai Open saw him defeat Sintacheewa and Alwi, the SEA Games Gold and Silver medalists of 2013, with a 5.20m effort.

Obiena this year took off where he did last year by breaking not just the National Record.

The SEA Games Records with a 5.25m leap for the silver medal at the Taipei open behind an American on 16.05.15.

He raised this mark again to 5.30m at the Busan International Pole Vault meet in Korea the following week.  

The previous SEA Record is held by the 2011 and 2013 SEA Games gold medalist Kreetha Sintacheewa of Thailand at 5.24m.

EJ finished fourth in the 2013 SEA Games.


A Tough lead up

He had to endure hardships such as losing his scholarship at Ateneo.

Consequently, he was unable to catch up with exams due to having been affected by Dengue.

And disappointment continued for Ernest Obiena as he was unfairly excluded from the Asian Games despite making the qualifying standard.

Hence he also missed out on World Juniors. Asian Juniors and World University Games.


EJ Obiena Olympic pathway

However, a string of luck happened when he was first given his coach Emerson to go to Italy to train with Vitaliy Petrov, the legendary Sergey Bubka.

Former PATAFA President Go Teng Kok talked with his old friend Bubka when he visited the Philippines to help set up an Ernest Obiena trip to Italy.

Ernest Obiena also was included in the ‘Adopt an Olympian Program’ of CEO James Michael Lafferty.

And Ernest Obiena was recently the recipient of three need brand new poles for the SEA Games.

While Ernest Obiena goes in a firm favorite at SEA Games level but is now looking at the bigger picture of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Also, it will leap 5.65m to qualify for this Olympic Games.


EJ Obiena breaks fathers Record (March 2014)

Ernest Obiena
Now officially a 5.00m jumper Ernest Obiena (left) takes the national indoor record. Coach and father Emerson Obiena (right).

Now officially a 5.00m jumper EJ Obiena (left) takes the national indoor record. Coach and father Emerson Obiena (right).a

18-year-old Ernest John Obiena leaped 5.00m to break his father’s indoor record and coach Emerson Obiena (4.93m), set in Taipei.

Obiena leap is a new national indoor record and ties the outdoor mark of Fil-Heritage Edward Lasquete (5.00m).

The performance is recognized as an indoor but not an outdoor record.

Obiena performance also hits the bronze medal standard of 5.00m for the SEA Games. To qualify for the world juniors, EJ must leap 5.05m.

The upcoming star who was 4th at the last SEA Games is looking for help/support to train at the IAAF facility in Italy, an offer made to him by the legendary former world record holder Sergey Bubka.


Against All Odds EJ Surprises in Singapore

Jul 5, 2013

E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 133
Left: EJ Obiena (Silver) Medal Singapore Open (Photo Credit: Philippine Pole Vault Club

The youngest member of the five-person contingent representing the Philippines at the 75th Singapore Open was also the best performer.  18-year-old Ernest John Obiena obliterated his own National Junior Record improving his previous performance at the Philippine National Games by a staggering 21cm. He established a mark of 4.75m on his second attempt at the height. EJ earned his first international medal in the senior competition. The bar was then raised to 4.83m, which he had three failed attempts.


SEA Games Field Humbled in Singapore

Obiena scalped a quality field of 18 vaulters to gain the silver medal behind Chia Hia Hsieh of Taipei, the strongest entry in the meet with a PB of 5.32 the gold with 5.20. EJ beat every single South East Asian competitor in this event.

SEA Games Decathlon Champion Vu Van Huyen of Vietnam took the bronze with 4.60, Van Hue Nguyen of Vietnam, Edwin Ming Xun Chong of Singapore,  Eko Wickasano of Indonesia, and Sean Lim of Singapore all have better best jumps than EJ in the last 12 months but had no answer yesterday to the tall skinny teen from the Philippines.


EJ Obiena soars to new Heights in Hong Kong, 2013

18-year-old Ernest John Obiena, within a week, shattered his own Philippine National Junior Record again. Obiena cleared 4.90m at the Hong Kong Inter-City meet on June 30, eclipsing the 4.75m mark he set last week. This puts EJ in very confident security of the second spot for the SEA Games, with the first going to Fil Heritage vaulter Caleb Monticalvo 5.10m (needs secure Phi Passport). EJ retains his spot #5 all-time, just tucked in behind another Fil Heritage Vaulter Julio Alorro 4.91m (last year), 4.82m this year.

Obiena won the gold at the Hong Kong Open, while his father and coach Emerson Obiena took silver with 4.20m.

In the Women’s Division, Riezel Buenaventura took the gold with 3.80m but missed the height of 3.92m (3.90m needed to qualify for SEA Games). Emily Obiena finished second with a recent best performance of 3.00m, and National Junior Record Holder Natasha Marie Nalus, the other Filipina competing fourth in a seasons best 2.90m.


Defies the Odds

This was the second time EJ had proved he could compete under callous conditions when in May, against extreme headwinds in Korea, he was the only Southeast Asian competitor to clear a height.

Singapore proved to be no different but a challenge overcome at least. With the remnants of Indonesians burning forests in Sumatra clogging the usually clean air of Singapore with a PSI rating soaring over 300, it looked as if Singapore Meet Manager James Wong was faced with the difficult decision canceling the meet despite ninety percent of entries from invited countries having already arrived.

The first day of the meet was canceled, along with events over 1500m. However, due to James Wong and his Singapore Athletics council’s innovative thinking, the meet pushed through with a compressed program on the second day.

Despite having no nearby Pole Vault mat to train on leading up to this meet.  EJ, coached by his father, Emerson Obiena, still did what he could to prepare for this meet. The older Obiena, who was a surprise second at the PNG, equaled his mark of 4.20m that he had leaped at the PNG.


A Three-way fight for the second spot to the SEA Games Pole Vault

Only a maximum of two athletes may represent the Philippines at the SEA Games in Myanmar in December.

With Philippine National Champion Caleb Monticalvo certain to secure one of those spots, he finalized his Philippine passport. The Fil Heritage vaulter from San Diego equaled the gold medal performance from the Last SEA Games when he leaped 5.10m at the NCAA Div 2 Finals in Colorado on May 26. A few days later, a long, drawn-out flight claimed the Philippine National title with 4.80m at Pasig. Monticalvo has cleared over the standing Philippine National Record of 5.00m of Edward Lasquette 4 times already with 5.10,5.05,5.03 and 5.02.

The second spot is where things get interesting. The SEA Games bronze medal standard is 4.70m, and the cut off for qualification is the end of December. However, three athletes are challenging for the remaining spot.

Another  Fil Heritage vaulter Julio Miguel Alorro of New Jersey has a PB of 4.91 last year and cleared 4.82 in March. However, Alorro sustained an injury and was not 100% for the PNG, and could not earn a height. Due to the no jump and the injuries, Alorro will need to prove his fitness for the SEA Games now; he will have another chance to compete at a Beach Vault meet in August.

EJ Obiena, the National Junior Record Holder at 4.75, currently leads the charge for qualification; he will compete in Hong Kong to maximize his qualifying chance. His training partner, former national champion Jerome Margallo, will be the third athlete battling for the slot and will compete at Vietnam and Thai Open.


Philippines Mens All Time List Pole Vault Ran

15.10Caleb Monticalvo
25.00Edward Lasquette
34.95Emerson Obiena
44.91Julio Alorro
54.75Ernest John Obiena
64.64Jerome Margallo
74.63Djundi Binas
84.55Dario de Rosas
94.55Edward Obiena
104.50Jose Isaias Utzurrun


Report on the meet and other RP Results coming soon.


EJ Obiena, Birthday Gift National Junior Record, 2012

It is a remarkable feat in itself, breaking a National Junior Record, even more unique when you break your own National Junior Record and throw in the fact you have two more years left to improve on it.  Two weeks ago, EJ Obiena achieved all of that at the Weekly Relays.

Obiena set the National Junior Record now at 4.40m; his mark shattered the 4.31m mark he leaped at the Filipino Chinese Meet in February. Hence, it is a new Junior National Record. This achievement also is unique as it happened on his 17th Birthday. EJ was born on 17/11/1995.

EJ, a freshman at Ateneo, has the next goal to go after the UAAP Record, held by training partner Jerome Margallo at 4.30m set 6 years ago. The 4.40m jump gives EJ confidence going in as the favorite next week.

EJ Obiena (Left) warms up with his Ateneo fellow Vaulters at Uni Games in Bacolod Photo Credit: www.ernestobiena.com.



EJ has had an impressive up and down season. Firstly, it broke the Junior Record at the Filipino Chinese meet with a leap of 4.31m; it was at an indoor meet in Taipei, leaping 4.41m. A severe stress fracture in the Tibia sidelined EJ in a cast for most of the year, forcing him to miss the Palaro and National Open meets. Coming back from injury, EJ was able to edge out Palaro Record Holder Adel Valdecenas (DLSU), winning on countback at 4.20 during the weekly relays.  However, Adel would reverse the Uni Games situation in Bacolod, winning again with 4.20 on countback. EJ claimed the silver here.

In Thailand, EJ claimed silver in the Junior Pole Vault with a leap of 4.25m.


The progress of EJ Obiena

2010 Palarong Pambansa Silver

2011 4.05m Singapore Schools


4.31m Filipino Chinese Meet (NJR)

4.41m Taipei Indoor (NJR Indoor)

4.20m Silver University Games Bacolod

4.25m Silver Thailand Open Juniors

4.40m Weekly Relays (NJR)


A Vaulting Family and legacy Event

EJ is the t coach, national champ, and masters record holder Emerson Obiena; the 48-year-old is still an active jumper. This was actually the first season he has been finishing behind  EJ. Uncle Edward Obiena is the NCAA Record Holder in Pole Vault with a lifetime best of 4.55m and was a bronze medalist in the Decathlon in the SEA Games. Ironically Edward’s best Vault was at his final appearance at the SEA Games, where he actually surpassed the bronze medalist in the individual pole vault. Also, EJ’s younger sister Emily shows signs of becoming a great pole vaulter when she leaped 2.80m.

It has been a splendid year for Philippine Pole Vault, which continues to outshine other events. With PPVC, Mike Pelaez Athletics, and Fil-Heritage athletes producing some extreme depth in the event. Caleb Monticalvo and Julio Alorro surpassed the SEA Games’ 4.70m bronze medal performance in 2011, with Caleb likely to eclipse the National Men’s Record of Lasquette. Caleb and Julio ranked 2nd and 3rd in South East Asia this year.

Mens Pole Vault’s substantial depth has seen no fewer than 9 Male Vaulters over 4.00m this year.

The Women’s Riezel Buenaventura has also made the Bronze standard tying the 3.90m at a meet in Taipei. That makes 3 of the 12 athletes who made sea games standards in 2012 Vaulters.

Fil-Heritage Alyana Nicholas (3.20) and Natasha Nalus  (3.00), two 18-year-olds, have surpassed and currently hold the junior records in the Junior Women’s category. Now that Alyana has secured Filipino dual citizenship, it entitles her to records.




E J Obiena sets New Phi Record 5.86m 134

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