The 23-year-old shatters record in the pole qualifiers meet held in Italy

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from Singapore Athletics

Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena becomes the first Filipino to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after surpassing the 5.80 qualifying standard for the men’s pole in Chiara, Italy on Wednesday. 

Obiena cleared 5.81 meters in the athletics meet, beating his previous personal best of 5.78. According to Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico, his new record gives him a sure seat in the Olympics.

A New Star in PH Sports

Obiena has previously broken records in a number of competitions around the world. Just this April, the 23-year-old broke the Asian Athletics Championship record with 5.71 meters in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League held in Doha, Qatar. The country’s pole vault gold medalist also set a new pole vault record in which he showed his jump and fly winning form at the 2019 Summer Universiade meet in Italy held in July.

The University of Santo Tomas athlete currently ranks 13th in the latest Vault World Rankings of the IAAF. He’s also the very first Filipino to receive a scholarship from the IAAF.

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