MANILA, Philippines – EJ Obiena is all set for his battle at the Tokyo Olympics, where he is pegged as one of the country's best prospects to win a gold medal.
According to the 25-year-old's father and national team coach Emerson Obiena, the young pole vaulter is in tip-top shape and ready to go toe-to-toe with world’s best.
"I think he's physically ready," the Obiena patriarch said on Thursday's edition of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association PEP Talks.
"[We're] hoping that the equipment also is there for him to be able to use any time that he needs that," he continued, adding that the poles EJ will be using for the Games arrived in Japan a week ago.
Subject to the pole vaulter's testing and quality control, the poles can then be used by EJ as he enters the final stage of his preparations — a crucial stretch wherein the Filipino aims to clear heights he's never overcame in competition before.
"We're looking forward to performing better, if not [just] consistently jumping 5.80," said the Obiena patriarch.
"We aim to jump higher," he said.
EJ's current personal best — and also the national record — stands at 5.85m.
The Filipino will need to clear much higher than that if he plans to get past world record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden.
Duplantis' current personal best is at 6.18m. The Swedish pole vaulter and current World No. 1 is the gold medal favorite for Tokyo.
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