EJ Obiena 2018

2018 Asian Games  Ernest John Obiena


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
1 5.71 Xue CHN
2 5.70 Yamamoto JPN
3 5.66 Jin KOR
4 5.65 Huang CHN
5 5.63 Al Hizam KSA
6 5.55 Ejima JPN
7 5.51 Obiena PHI PB 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 at 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 season’s 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, 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

EJ Obiena 2018 2

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.

EJ Obiena 2018 3


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.

EJ Obiena 2018 4

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 the 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 is 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 should give the support he needs 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

2011 4.05m   Singapore ASG   NJR
2011 4.31m   Pasig Fil-Chinese .02.12 NJR
2012 4.42m Gold Pasig Fil-Chinese .02.12 NJR
2012 4.45m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR
2012 4.50m Gold Pasig UAAP 04.12.12 UAAP Record, NJR
2013 4.54m Gold Pasig PNG .05.13 Juniors NJR
2013 4.60m   Singapore Open   NJR
2013 4.75m   Singapore Open   NJR
2013 4.80m   Hong Kong Open   NJR
2013 4.90m   Hong Kong     NJR
2013 4.95m 1 Manila Ateneo Weekly Relay Serie 14.09.13 NJR
2013 4.90m 4 Nyapitdaw SEA Games .12.13  
2014 5.00m 1 Nantou Indoor   NIR/NJ IR
2014 5.01m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR/NR
2014 5.05m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR/NR
2014 5.06m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR/NR
2014 5.10m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR/NR
2014 5.15m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays   NJR/NR
2014 5.20m 1 Singapore Open   NJR/NR
2014 5.21m 1 Pasig Weekly Relays 28.09.14 NJR/NR
2015 5.15m 5 Nantou Indoor .03.15 NIR
2015 5.25m Silver Taipei Open .05.15 NR
2015 5.30m Gold Busan International 23.05.15 NR
2015 5.25m Silver Singapore SEA 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.

EJ underwent surgery with Dr. Tabbarah of St. Luke’s in mid-September, 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

EJ Obiena 2018 5

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 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 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.

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