EJ Obiena

Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

EJ Obiena 2022 Archives

Continued from

EJ Obiena 2021 Archives

Obiena – Makes it 5 in a row PinoyAthletics Male Athlete of the Year

Dec 2, 2022

For the 5th Year in a row, Ernest John Obiena has secured the coveted PinoyAthletics Male Athlete of the Year award. The only sports award that matters is Phil Sports. Obiena had a stellar season. Which didn’t start too well at all for him with his association questioning his integrity over financial assistance given. Eventually, the COA Cleared EJ of any wrongdoing.

Despite the added stress, Obiena was able to capture the Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Athletics a feat never achieved before in the history of the Philippines’ participation in the world. He also ended the 17-in-a-row winning streak of Mondo Duplantis with a shocking win over the world record holder. Obiena also made it two in a row defending his SEA Games title aswell as breaking the Asian Record in the Pole Vault now with a PB of 5.94m. He is looking towards getting into the prestigious 6-meter club in 2023. Not bad at all for a tall skinny guy from Tondo! who continues to bring pride to the Philippines on the global stage.

EJ beat out the Great Eric Cray who has now had 5 SEA Games Golds in 400 Hurdles, Double SEA Games Shotput Champion William Morrison,  Double SEA Games 110 Hurlder Clinton Kingsley Bautista, and Long Jumper Janry Ubas who is having a stellar season.

EJ Obiena Finally Beats Duplantis


Belgium (AFP) – After suffering a rare defeat at Friday’s Diamond League match in Brussels, Armand “Mondo” Duplantis pledged to put any risk of complacency on hold.

At 5.91 meters, Duplantis failed three times, finally collapsing to the ground on his third failed attempt while staring in horrified disbelief.

Due to how dominant Duplantis had been in his event, EJ Obiena of the Philippines passed at the same height on the third attempt, leaving the Filipino likewise shaking his head in surprise.

The 22-year-old Swede, who was born in the US, had a stellar season, winning 17 contests, 14 of which he did with vaults over the six-meter mark. It was his first loss of the year.

Duplantis won those matches, winning the world indoor gold in Belgrade in March and the global outdoor gold in Oregon in July. Both were accomplished using world records for vaults, measuring 6.20 and 6.21 meters, respectively.

Come back stronger

Duplantis said he would aim to improve by the time of next week’s Diamond League finals in Zurich.

“In Zurich, I’ll try to come back a little stronger than here. I want to put up another good performance at the end of the year and end on a high.”

For very many meets, Duplantis has completely dominated his competition.

Waiting patiently to enter at a height that has normally seen a couple of rivals already out, the Swede makes sure of the victory and then goes to plus-6m before deciding whether to have another tilt at the world record.

Asian champion EJ Obiena, a bronze medallist at the Eugene worlds, has a personal best of 5.94m, which he vaulted in Oregon.

The Filipino ranked third on the world outdoor list for this season at that height, after Duplantis and American Chris Nilsen, who cleared 6m dead in May.

EJ Obiena made the most of his chance given that Duplantis’ three tries at it were unsuccessful.

Nilsen, who came in third, was not pleased.

“Third with 5.71m is all I can say. No one produced any good marks today except Ernest John with a first Diamond League win,” he said.

“Everyone is a little tired with the end of the season. I am ready to go to the Diamond League Final. In Zurich, the goal is a top three and 5.90m.

“If I make this I will shoot for 6m. I maybe need to do some speedwork because I felt kind of sluggish today.”

© 2022 AFP



EJ Obiena Reinstated into National Team (August 19, 2022)

EJ Obiena
Mr EJ Obiena

Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association (Patafa) are back together.

Almost all Patafa board members voted in favor of EJ Obiena’s reinstatement to the national team, a welcome development.

Patafa’s executive vice president Willie Torres said five more athletes would be included in the master list.
Upon receiving the Patafa roster, the Philippine Sports Commission will formalize EJ Obiena’s return to the national team.

“We are thankful to the Patafa leadership for taking this step to solidify the strength of our national athletics team,’’ said PSC Officer-in-Charge and Commissioner Olivia “Bong’’ Coo.

A dispute between EJ Obiena and Patafa prompted by unliquidated expenses and unpaid Ukrainian coach Vitaly Petrov led to his exclusion from the national athletics team early this year.

The two parties reconciled in Vietnam after a lengthy mediation spearheaded by then-PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

After placing third at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon,  EJ Obiena is the world’s third-ranked pole vaulter.

source: https://sports.inquirer.net/473861/ej-obiena-formally-reinstated-to-philippine-national-team


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 holds the National Record at 5.71m and the National Indoor Record at 5.40m.

Also holds the National Junior Record at 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).

EJ Obiena Sporting career

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


Continued Improvement

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

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

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

Also, EJ 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’s 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 usually send “token athletes” to the World Junior Championship because we have not hit the qualifying standard yet.

Because my 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 competition 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 at my event, Mr. Sergey Bubka.

Mr. Bubka said I should apply for the IAAF’s Olympic B project for athletes like me.

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

Hence with God’s blessing, I cleared 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 in 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 it picked me to join this program. Also, this would help me accomplish my goal to represent my country in world-class competitions.

Thank you very much for reading.

EJ Obiena Press Conference

EJ Obiena Historic Bronze at World Championships

July 25, 2022

5.94m Obiena assured of at least the bronze the first-ever medal for the Philippines in the history of their participation at the World Championships. That is a big wake-up call for PATAFA after COA cleared EJ of all accusations thrown at him.
I’m hoping that.
1. PATAFA Page doesn’t try and claim credit for EJ after what he had to go through with them.
2. Reporters who sided against EJ don’t start asking him for interviews as if nothing happened before.
📍 Oregon, USA 🇺🇸
Philippines’ first medal in World Athletics Championships history!!!
CONGRATULATIONS to our Asian Pole Vault record holder ERNEST JOHN OBIENA for winning the Bronze medal & setting again a NEW ASIAN OUTDOOR RECORD, NATIONAL RECORD, and PERSONAL RECORD in POLE VAULT of 5.94m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the USA.
▪️Mens Pole Vault Finals | Athletes: 12
🥉 3rd | ERNEST JOHN OBIENA – 5.94m
▪️6.00m | ❌❌❌
▪️6.94m | ❌⭕
▪️5.87m | ⭕
▪️5.80m | ⭕
▪️5.70m | ❌⭕
▪️5.55m | ⭕
Thank you for bringing honor and representing our country on the Asian stage! Mabuhay ka Atletang Pilipino! 😊🇵🇭

EJ Obiena Makes Final 12 at World Champs Oregon Mens Pole Vault (July 23)

Despite the setbacks and roadblocks. Ernest Obiena has made the Final 12 at the World Championships. Qualifying 3rd in Group B and 6th Overall to the final. 5.75m was the cut-off for the Top 12. Obiena is joined in the final by World Record Holder Armand Mondo Duplantis.

Obiena will be looking to improve on his 11th-place finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year where he leaped 5.70m. The Final will be played on July 25 at 3:15 AM in the Philippines, while in the Oregon United States is 12:15 PM on July 24.


1 1 A 2409 Christopher NILSEN USAUSA 5.75 q
1 1 A 2298 Armand DUPLANTIS SWESWE 5.75 q
1 1 B 1931 Oleg ZERNIKEL GERGER 5.75 q
4 3 A 1603 Thiago BRAZ BRABRA 5.75 q
5 2 B 1574 Ben BROEDERS BELBEL 5.75 q
6 3 B 2213 Ernest John OBIENA PHIPHI 5.75 q
6 3 B 2328 Ersu ŞAŞMA TURTUR 5.75 q
8 4 A 1836 Renaud LAVILLENIE FRAFRA 5.75 q
9 5 A 2192 Pål Haugen LILLEFOSSE NORNOR 5.75 q
9 5 A 1911 Bo Kanda LITA BAEHRE GERGER 5.75 q
9 5 B 2188 Sondre GUTTORMSEN NORNOR 5.75 q
9 5 B 2171 Menno VLOON NEDNED 5.75 q
13 7 A 2164 Rutger KOPPELAAR NEDNED 5.65
14 8 A 2109 Hussein Assem AL HIZAM KSAKSA 5.65 SB
15 7 B 2187 Simen GUTTORMSEN NORNOR 5.65
15 7 B 2078 Seito YAMAMOTO JPNJPN 5.65
17 9 B 2431 Luke WINDER USAUSA 5.65
18 9 A 1828 Thibaut COLLET FRAFRA 5.65
19 10 A 2225 Piotr LISEK POLPOL 5.50
19 10 A 1863 Harry COPPELL GBRGBR 5.50
19 10 B 1817 Mikko PAAVOLA FINFIN 5.50
22 12 A 1812 Tommi HOLTTINEN FINFIN 5.50 =SB
22 12 A 1941 Emmanouil KARALIS GREGRE 5.50
24 14 A 1541 Kurtis MARSCHALL AUSAUS 5.50
24 11 B 1672 Bokai HUANG CHNCHN 5.50
24 11 B 2230 Robert SOBERA POLPOL 5.50
27 15 A 2278 Robert RENNER SLOSLO 5.50
28 16 A 1516 Germán CHIARAVIGLIO ARGARG 5.30
B 1615 Augusto DUTRA BRABRA NM


July 17, 2022

I wonder Who this UNIDENTIFIED SOURCE is regardless again he has been CLEARED BY COA. As COA has cleared him who are we to question the Might and Power of COA not even the President of the Country has the right to challenge COA decisions. Their decisions are FINAL.
Obiena was shocked when he was flagged by US Immigration authorities. The basis for detention was suspected of being a fugitive. US officials were tipped off by an unidentified source “with the intent to disrupt his entry into the US and disrupt his effort to medal.” It turned out to be a false whistleblower tip.
US officials had copies of press stories about PATAFA’s accusations that Obiena embezzled funds and falsified public documents in liquidating advances from PSC. The accusations were later withdrawn and Obiena was cleared of wrongdoing by COA.
You deserve better Ernest Obiena, not this witch hunt some people have on you. Thank you for continuing to represent our country and embody the spirit of our Sport. You are such an inspiration to so many young aspiring athletes in the way you stand up for yourself and what you believe in. PinoyAthletics wishes you all the best at the World Championships.
Let’s build pathways for our athletes NOT DESTROY DREAMS.

 EJ Obiena receives COA clearance 

The Commission on Audit clears Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena from the liquidation issue raised by PATAFA 

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino pole vault star EJ Obiena received clearance from the Commission on Audit (COA), thus officially settling the liquidation issue hurled by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) against him. 


“COA cleared me. [The letter was dated March 31 then I received] it a few days after, basically everything is in order,” the 26-year-old pole vault star announced the development on Wednesday, April 13 in an episode of Rappler Talk. 

“As far as I’m concerned, all the paperwork that I submitted are in order.”


The COA clearance officially refuted PATAFA’s allegations that Obiena committed estafa, an accusation that turned into a much-publicized national sports issue and caused a wedge between the Olympian and his home federation.  


“On a personal level, the Commission on Audit report is basically a closure for me. This pretty much made me whole. This shows that there were no ill intentions to commit any fraudulent documents,” said Obiena. 


Obiena also explained that he agreed to the mediation initiated by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) last February 14 after he was given a platform to defend his side in the Senate. 

The mediation resulted in the reconciliation between the pole vaulter and PATAFA. The national athletics federation then endorsed Obiena’s participation in the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games and the World Athletics Outdoor Championships. 


“I think the relationship between me and PATAFA has been reignited during mediation and I think that is something we should be working towards and I hope to definitely move forward from that,” said Obiena. 

“The mediation is not about who is right or wrong, and the numbers on their reports. It’s more of like a reconciliation and definitely [rebuilding the relationship].” 

Rift with PATAFA

The rift between EJ Obiena and PATAFA started in November 2021, when the national federation demanded the pole vaulter return 85,000 euros that were meant to be payments for his Ukrainian coach Vitaliy Petrov – virtually accusing the athlete of mismanagement of funds. (TIMELINE: Falling out with PATAFA mars EJ Obiena rise

The world No. 5 pole vaulter vehemently denied the allegations, but PATAFA later accused Obiena of estafa and dropped him from the national team by January 2022. The Philippine Senate held a hearing on the issue as the PSC also offered mediation between the two parties.

Amid the drama, EJ Obiena missed out on competing in a world tournament. Due to the lack of endorsement from PATAFA, EJ Obiena failed to participate in the World Athletics Indoor Championship in Belgrade, Serbia even as the world-class pole vaulter had a strong shot at becoming the first Filipino medalist in the event. – Rappler.com 

EJ Obiena Progression of National/Indoor/SEA/SEA Indoor/Asian Championship and Asian Records

By Andrew Pirie ATFS Vice President

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EJ Obiena bounces back with a 5.81m win at the Orlen Copernicus Cup

Well Done to EJ Obiena with his 5.81m win at the Orlen Copernicus Cup over a class field yesterday.
“The Peoples Champion” and “The Lion of Tondo” He Now is looking good for the world indoors and world championships having beaten the 5.80m Qualifying standard for both.
As long as PATAFA doesn’t try and include Unqualified athletes who haven’t made the standard in the final list. Hopefully, POC will find ways for EJ Obiena to defend his SEA Games title and do his bit for the Philippines.
What an absolute Thriller as Swoboda continued her Disneyish movie material winning streak fresh off her 7.00 World lead. With a narrow win over Olympic 100m Champion Elaine Thompson-Harrah (Jamaica) the 2nd fastest woman of all time 7.03 to 7.04. With every inch of that race mattering at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun Poland.
Also equally impressive was EJ Obiena of the Philippines who despite setbacks launched his way to a stunning season-best equalling his 5.81m performance from the Orlen Cup earlier in the month at Lodz Poland. He held off Ben Broeders of Germany and the 2016 Olympic Champion and training partner Thiago Braz of Brazil.

Resilient Epic Victory at the Orlen Cup sees EJ Obiena qualify for World Championships.

Resilient Epic Victory at the Orlen Cup sees Obiena qualify for World Championships.
Shaking off the cob Webs EJ Obiena nails a 5.81m to secure a 10cm margin of victory and First place at the Orlen Cup in Lodz Poland. Overtraining partner and 2016 Olympic Champion Thiago Braz. This improves on his 2x 5.70m jumps at Berlin and Uppsala in the last few weeks.
The mark also passes the 5.80m qualifying standard for the World Championships held July 15-24 in Eugene, Oregon, United States.
Unpaid by the PSC since August. ‘The Peoples Champion’ is relying on private funding and crowdsourcing through generous benefactors.
Pole Vault Men
Pos Athlete Club/Country Mark
2 BRAZ Thiago BRAZIL 5.71
3 LISEK Piotr POLAND 5.71
4 VOLKOV Matvey BELARUS 5.61
6 HUANG Bokai CHINA 5.51
7 SOBERA Robert POLAND 5.41

International Pole Vault in Uppsala, Sweden February 9.

Mens Pole Vault
EJ Obiena 8th equalling season best of 5.70m
Men’s Pole Vault indoor

EJ Obiena 2022 Season Finishes 4th in Opener with 5.70m

Ernest Obiena without any funding or support from the Philippines Sports Commission since August lands 4th with 5.70m in his season opener in ISATF Berlin. Due to the Surgery, Undue Stress, and having to rely on private funding 5.70m season opener is Nothing to be ashamed of. Had he cleared 5.50m or less yesterday no one would have taken his bold promise to clear 6.00m before Paris 2024 seriously. But he now puts all doubts to rest.

Pole Vault Men

1 DUPLANTIS Armand SWE 6.03m WL
4 OBIENA Ernest John PHI 5.70 SB
5 LITA BAEHRE Bo Kanda GER 5.70
6 LISEK Piotr POL 5.70 SB
7 KOPPELAAR Rutger NED 5.45
8 BLECH Torben GER 5.45


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)

EJ Obiena ties Asian Indoor Pole Vault Record

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By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here http://www.pinoyathletics.info/coaching-2/

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