Umukit ng kasaysayan si Ernest John “EJ” Obiena nang maging unang Pinoy na makasungkit ng gold medal at mag-set ng bagong record sa 2019 Asian Athletics Championship sa Doha, Qatar nitong Linggo.
Nakapagtala si Obiena ng 5.71 meters para sa bagong meet standard at angkinin ang Philippine pole vault record.
Tinapos ni Obiena ang 10-year drought ng bansa kung saan ay tinalo nito sina Chinese Zhang Wei (5.66 meters) at Huang Bokai (5.61 meters) para sa gintong medalya.
“When the bar was raised at 5.71 meters. I did not think of anything. I mean about standards and records. I just concentrated and executed. Apparently, that helped,” pahayag ni Obiena.
Mananatili muna si Obiena sa Doha para malaman kung makakapasok ito para sa IAAF Diamond League.
“We got it! Proud to say after all the trouble we have made it happen. It was definitely not easy! It took a lot and felt like hell sometimes. There have been times that I have lost hope. There are times that I have been frustrated. There have been a lot of heart breaks and pain in this journey. It was a piece of work to say the least. All that was endurable because I have been surrounded by people who believe in me. This Win is not just for me.”