WORLD NO. 3 POLE VAULTER ON VACATION

Obiena recharges his batteries in Tagaytay after his 6-gold medal harvest in Europe

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | September 16,2022 - 05:15 PM
POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (left) joined EJ Obiena and his girlfriend, German long jumper Caroline Joyeaux during their visit in Tagaytay City on September 16,2022. | Photo from the POC

POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (left) joined EJ Obiena and his girlfriend, German long jumper Caroline Joyeaux during their visit in Tagaytay City on September 16,2022. | Photo from the POC

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The World No. 3 pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena is seen enjoying the start of his short vacation in Tagaytay City. 

Obiena, who recently wrapped up his highly successful 2022 season, was welcomed in Tagaytay City, Batangas by no less than Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

In total, the 26-year-old Obiena harvested six gold medals in various meets in Europe. Obiena capped off his season with a back-to-back gold medal finish in Switzerland’s Gala dei Castilli and Liechtenstein’s Golden Fly Series. 

In addition, one of Obiena’s gold medals came from a major upset he had against the world record holder Armand Duplantis during the Diamond League in Belgium earlier this month. 

Obiena had fun flying a drone towards Taal Volcano on Friday afternoon as one of his relaxing activities in his short vacation. 

After this, he will embark in a grueling 18-month preparation for the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

“It’s time to play, I won’t be back here after a long while,” said Obiena in a statement from the POC. 

He was accompanied by his girlfriend, German long jumper Caroline Joyeaux, dad Emerson and mom Jeanette, and sister Emily Jean at the Knights Templar Hotel in Tagaytay City.

Obiena personally met with Tolentino, expressing his gratitude to the POC for the unwavering support of the agency in his campaign in the past three years.

“It’s a feeling of security and peace of mind,” said star pole vaulter of Tolentino’s support for his campaign. 

“It’s this assurance that someone has your back and that I can fully focus on my training and competition,” he said.

It can be recalled that the POC strongly backed Obiena against his rift with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa). POC even declared ex-Patafa president Philip Juico Persona Non Grata for his conflict with Obiena. 

The POC also reinstated Obiena as a national team athlete when Patafa denied the latter to be included into the national team. 

“The POC, like the IOC [International Olympic Committee], has committed to the athletes, to me specifically. And that’s how it’s supposed to be,” said the World No. 3 pole vaulter.

“He [Tolentino] is the right man for the job, it’s calming for an athlete to have him as president of an NOC [national Olympic committee].”

For his part, Tolentino praised Obiena for his positive attitude and vowed to sustain the POC’s support for his bid for Paris 2024.

“It’s a welcome relief that EJ is back home and we at the POC fully appreciate his focus, outlook and attitude as an athlete. He needs all the support possible, like all other Filipino athletes,” Tolentino said.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Ernest John "EJ" Obiena, Liechtenstein's Golden Fly Series, Obiena, POC President, six gold medals, Switzerland's Gala dei Castilli, Taal Volcano, Tagaytay, Tolentino, World No. 3 pole vaulter

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