MANILA, Philippines — EJ Obiena's recent performances in his three tournaments leading up to the Olympics can easily be seen as signs that everything is already in place for the 25-year-old pole vaulter.
But for Obiena, there is still far to be done come the Games next month if he wants to take home a medal.
"I'm happy where I'm at but satisfied is a long way to go… As Kobe [Bryant] said, job's not done. We're still working on it and still a lot of things that sadly needs to be done until this time come Olympic day," Obiena said during Noli Eala's Power & Play Saturday.
"Training-wise, I still need a lot of things, I need to polish my technique, my speed, my efficiency," he added.
While, of course, polishing his techniques and play is easily within the realm of control for the pole vaulter, he also revealed some challenges that are more difficult to face.
Following the nature of the pole vault event, Obiena is facing a number of logistic concerns which he has encountered a lot of challenges.
"I'm trying to sort out how I'm going to bring my poles from here to Tokyo, then Tokyo to the training camp that's hosted for us in Nagasaki which is a flight away from Tokyo," said Obiena, who is currently in Italy for his training since late 2019.
He also revealed that although his results in the tournaments leading up to Tokyo have been good, if not great, he needed to be equipped with better poles if he wants to compete at the elite level in Tokyo.
"I need new poles, actually. Currently, I'm using a series that's kind of incomplete so I'm working on that — getting poles here as soon as possible because I got my poles damaged back in February," said Obiena.
"I would need some replacement pole and sadly [there have been] some issues… I still haven't got my equipment so I'm working on it," he added.
Obiena was the first Filipino to book a ticket to the Games and is part of a now 12-athlete contingent bound for Tokyo.
He joins gymnast Carlos Yulo, pugs Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial, and Irish Magno, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz, and Elreen Ando, shooter Jayson Valdez, rower Cris Nievarez, and jin Kurt Barbosa.
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