Fresh from his training in Formia, Italy, pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena broke the 22-year-old Philippine national record last Sunday at the PATAFA Weekly Relay Series in Phil Sports, Pasig.
Junior national record holder Obiena officially made his mark in the senior arena as he joins the list of elite Philippine national record holders after setting a new senior national record leap of 5.01 meters.
His new Philippine record has erased the more than two decades old 5.00 meter national record of Philippines’ legendary pole vaulter, Edward Lasquette set in 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Obiena, an incoming UST electrical engineering sophomore, first hurdled the 5-meter mark in the World Indoor Pole Vault Championships held in Taipei in March.
With that feat, he was sent to train in Formia Italy for two months under under renowned Ukranian coach Vitaly Petrov, who produced pole vault icon Sergey Bubka and world champions Yelena Isinbayeva and Giuseppe Gibilisco.
Obiena’s long overdue national record has breached the 2013 SEA Games bronze medal leap of 5.00m, thus officially clinching him a spot in the Singapore SEA Games next year.
No words yet if his new national Philippine record will be rewarded with a slot in the up coming 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.