Athletics in his blood: EJ Obiena is the son of former national pole vaulter Emerson Obiena and former Centro Escolar University hurdling student-athlete Jeanette Obiena.
He is a product of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) track and field program.
In 2019, he cleared 5.81 meters in an outdoor pole-vaulting tournament in Italy to become the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Philippine national record-holder: Weeks before the Tokyo Games, he cleared 5.87m in the Irena Szwewinska Memorial/Bydgoszcz Cup in Poland and smashed his own national record, eclipsing the 5.85m record he set in Mossingen, Germany in June.
He is the first Filipino vaulter to compete in the Olympics since Edward Lasquete, who represented the country in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
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