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.”

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  2 EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  3


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].” 


The rift between 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, Obiena missed out on competing in a world tournament. Due to the lack of endorsement from PATAFA, 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 receives COA clearance 

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

By Andrew Pirie ATFS Vice President

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

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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 world indoors and world championships having beat 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-Herrah (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 Ernest John 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.
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Resilient Epic Victory at the Orlen Cup sees Obiena qualify for World Championships.

Resilient Epic Victory at the Orlen Cup sees Obiena qualify for World Championships.
Shaking off the cob Webs Obiena nails a 5.81m to secure a 10cm margin of victory 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 8th equalling seasons best of 5.70m
Men’s Pole Vault indoor
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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

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  7

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  8

EJ Obiena 2021 Competitions

  • January 28 Kahlrushe Germany
  • Asian Indoor
  • World Indoor
  • SEA Games
  • World Champs
  • Asian Games

EJ Obiena – Congressional Hearing


Sports Patron James Lafferty defends EJ Obiena 27.11.21

EJ OBIENA’S Mentor Jim Lafferty explains EJ’s late payments 26.11.21

Ernest Obiena 22.11.21 Press Conference via Inquirer

EJ Obiena – Ernest Obiena 5.93m Asian Record !!!!

EJ Obiena Prepares for Diamond League Final Ranks 5th in World

EJ Obiena New National Record 5.91m

28 August 2021

EJ Obiena makes it through to Olympic Final in Mens Pole Vault.

Ernest Obiena made it through to the Olympic Finals. It was nail-biting stuff as EJ missed the bar twice at 5.75m after clearing 5.50m and 5.65m on his first attempts. On his final do-or-die attempt at 5.75m, EJ put all fears to rest, sailing over the bar with what looked like a 6-meter jump. 

The automatic qualification for the final was 5.80m with a cap of 12. However, 11 men cleared 5.75m, and all mutually conceded that all 14 of them (including 3 on 5.65m countback) had enough of the hot sticky heat; They would be calling it a day, packing up their poles and going back to the village to rest for the final to rest up contemplating what needs to be done with three days rest before the Final on August 3 at 7.20 pm.

Among the finalists were world record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden, former world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France after an earlier scare with two fails at 5.50m, Olympic Champion Thiago Braz, and the 2 Americans KC Lightfoot and Christopher Nilsen among the top 14. But spare a thought for EJ Obiena of the Philippines, the 2019 World University Games, and the 2019 Asian Track and Field Champion, who is well within the mix for a medal here in Tokyo.

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World #2 Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID-19 before the games and was replaced by Matt Ludwig, who did not qualify through to the finals clearing 5.50m.

Full Results from Day 2 of the Athletics Here

Obiena finishes 4th at Stockholm Diamond League

July 4, 2021

Ernest Obiena has finished 4th at the Stockholm Diamond League behind Armand Duplantis (SWE) 6.02m, Sam Kendricks 5.92m (USA), and Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 5.92m. EJ cleared 5.82m a week after setting a new Philippine and SEA Record of 5.87m.

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  10

EJ Obiena 5.87m Philippine Outdoor Record

Ernest Obiena took silver behind newly Minted US Champion Chris Nilsen.

Irena Szwewinska Memorial/Bydgosszcz Cup in Bydgoszcz, Poland, for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold on June 30. 

Nilsen cleared 5.92m (3cm away from his PB and 2cm better than his winning jump at the recent US National Team Trials). However, despite coming out with silver, EJ didn’t come out empty-handed as he set a new Philippine and Southeast Asian outdoor record of 5.87m. Taking 1 cm off his records set on February 12 at the Orlen Cup (5.86m). Piotr Lisek, who was 4th at the last Olympic games, cleared 5.82m seasons best. At the same time, EJ’s training partner Thiago Braz of Brazil, the 2016 Olympic Champion, who EJ tied with last week at Leverkusen, was 4th also in 5.82m.

Before the Olympics, he will next see action at the Wanda Diamond League in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 4.

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June 27, 2021, Leverkusen

EJ Obiena leaps to tied first place at True Athletics classic in Leverkusen, Germany to place 2nd behind 2016 Olympic Champion and training partner Thiago Braz of Brazil.
They both cleared 5.80m and were unable to separate the performance.
EJ has cleared the following jumps over the Olympic standard 7 times 5.80m in the Olympic qualifying period. Including a nonbearing 5.80m in September of 2020.
3 Sept Chiari 5.81 (street meet)
5 Feb Berlin 5.80i
12 Feb Orlen Cup 5.86i (Phi Record)
17 Feb Torun 5.80m
6 Jun Hengelo 5.80m
11 Jun Mossingen 5.85m
27 Jun Leverkusen 5.80m

Ej final pre Olympic meets.

Leverkusen 27/06 12-3pm

Bydgoszcz 30/06 Stockholm 02/07

Stockhold dl 04/07 15:31

For the other 2, I would only know the time when I arrived in the area.

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New Philippines Outdoor Record 5.85m at Mossigen

June 11, 2021

CONGRATULATIONS to our Tokyo Olympic bound athlete ERNEST JOHN OBIENA to set a New National Outdoor Record in Pole Vault of 5.85m again and win the Gold medal at the 2021 Jump Fly International Athletics Meet in Germany.

Ernest Obiena cleared his National Outdoor Record and Seasons Best of 5.85m in the 3rd attempt, surpassing his previous meet record of 5.81m.

Just 1cm shy of his 5.86m Indoor National Record and Personal best. With the Tokyo Olympics coming up in just over 6 weeks.

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EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  14

EJ Obiena opens 2021 with a win.

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  15

EJ Obiena (Philippines) had his first meet of 2021, winning the Men’s Pole Vault at the Goteborg Grand Prix Germany in 5.70m. EJ beat his training partner and 2016 Olympic Champion Thiago Braz (Brazil), who registered 5.65m, and Pal Haagen Lillefesse (Germany) 5.60m, who took 3rd on countback from Cole Walsh (USA) 5.60m. So far, EJ Obiena is the only Filipino to make the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games (5.86m) in Athletics, with the cut-off on June 29.

EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  16

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
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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, 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.

And then lowered the bar back down to 5.73m to break the tie, with both Obiena and Zernikle failing. Finally, 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 in Calais, France, part of Athletics’ world indoor tour for 2021.

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EJ Obiena receives COA clearance  19

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.

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

January 30, 2021

In his opening meet, 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. However, 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

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)



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