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].”
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 Progression of National/Indoor/SEA/SEA Indoor/Asian Championship and Asian Records
By Andrew Pirie ATFS Vice President
Obiena bounces back with a 5.81m win at the Orlen Copernicus Cup
Resilient Epic Victory at the Orlen Cup sees Obiena qualify for World Championships.
International Pole Vault in Uppsala, Sweden February 9.
EJ Obiena 2022 Season Finishes 4th in Opener with 5.70m
Pole Vault Men
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.
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 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.
June 27, 2021, Leverkusen
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.
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.
EJ Obiena opens 2021 with a win.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Ceiling is the Limit: E J Obiena sets New National Indoor Record.
January 30, 2021
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
- 5.81m Pole Vault Meeting, Chiari GOLD 3 Sept 2019
- 5.76m Universiade Napoli GOLD 12 July 2019
- 5.71m Asian Championships, Doha GOLD 21 Apr 2019
- 5.61m Leuveksen, Germany 4th 27-Jul-17
- 5.55m Singapore Open 1st 19-Apr-16
- 5.50m National Open, Pasig 1st 9-Apr-16
- 5.47m PNG, Pasig 1st 14-Mar-16
- 5.40m Asian Indoor, Doha, Qatar 4th (National Indoor Record) 20-Feb-16
- 5.46m UAAP, Pasig 1st 18-Feb-16
- 5.45m Weekly Relays, Pasig 1st 27-Sep-15
- 5.40m Thailand Open, Rangsit 1st 7-Sep-15
- 5.30m International Busan June-15
- 5.25m Taipei Open, 2nd 15-May-15
- 5.21m Weekly Relays, Pasig 28-Apr-2014
- 5.20m Singapore Open, 2014
- 5.15m Weekly Relays, Pasig
- 5.10m Weekly Relays, Pasig
- 5.06m Weekly Relays, Pasig
- 5.05m Weekly Relays, Pasig
- 5.01m Weekly Relays, Pasig
- 5.00m Taipei indoor 7th 26-Mar-14 (Tied National Record)
- 4.95m Weekly Relay 1st Sept 28, 2013
- 4.90m Thailand Open 2nd Sept 3-6,2013
- 4.90m Hong Kong 1st June 29-30,2013
- 4.90m Singapore Track & field series 1st Feb. 15-16, 2013
- 4.75m Singapore open 2nd June 15-16, 2013
- 4.54m PNG 1st May 28-June2, 2013
- 4.50m Uaap 1st Dec. 4, 2012
- 4.45m Weekly Relay 1st 24-Nov-12
- 4.42m FCAAF 1st February 16-17, 2012
- 4.41m MTaipei indoor 2nd March 27, 2012
- 4.31m FCAAF 1st April 4-5,2012
- 4.20m Weekly Relay 1st 2011
- 4.05m Asean School Singapore 7th July 1-7, 2011
- 3.70m Palarong Pambansa 2nd 27-Apr-11
- 4.00m Taipei indoor March 2011
- 3.20m Palarong Pambansa 2nd April 11-17, 2010
- 3.00m Nantou, 2009 (first international meet)
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