Ernest Obiena

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Ernest Obiena
Ernest John Obiena.jpg
Ernest John Obiena at the 2017 Asian Championships.
Personal information
Full nameErnest John Uy Obiena
Nickname(s)EJ Obiena
Born (1995-11-17) November 17, 1995 (age 24)
Tondo, Manila, Philippines[1]
Height6 ft 2 in (1.9 m)[2]
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Pole vaulting
College teamUniversity of Santo Tomas
Coached byEmerson Obiena
Vitaly Petrov (2014)
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)5.81m (2019, NR)

Ernest John Uy Obiena (born November 17, 1995[3][4]) is a Filipino pole vaulter. Before breaking the Asian Athletics Championships record, he held the Philippine national record in pole vaulting with a record of 5.55 meters which he accomplished on April 29, 2016 at the 78th Singapore Open Championships in Kallang, Singapore.[5] He later broke the Asian Athletics Championships record with 5.71 meters on April 21, 2019 on its 23rd biennial meet at Doha, Qatar which earned him the coveted gold medal finish. He currently holds the National Record which he broke in the same event.

Obiena is the first Filipino that has been given a scholarship from the International Athletic Association Federation (IAAF).[1][6]


Early life and education[edit]

Obiena was born to track and field athletes, Emerson and Jeanette Obiena[2] on November 17, 1995 in Tondo, Manila.[1][3] Obiena attended the Chiang Kai Shek College for his secondary education, and is a college student at the University of Santo Tomas.[2]

Sporting career[edit]

Obiena used to compete at the 100 and 400 meter hurdles event for his high school, Chiang Kai Shek College. At the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), he competed for the University of Santo Tomas.[2]

Obiena's father, Emerson serves as his coach,[citation needed] also formerly served as the former Athletics national team member.[7]

In early 2014, for three months, Obiena with his father was given an opportunity to train under coach Vitaly Petrov in Formia, Italy who also previously coached Sergey Bubka.[8] In July 20, 2014, at the PATAFA weekly relays held at the PhilSports Football and Athletics Stadium, Obiena broke the national record for pole vault by registering 5.01 meters. The previous record was 5.0 meters by Edward Lasquete at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The junior national record was also broken, since Obiena at that time is 18 years old. The previous record was 4.31 set three years ago.[8]

He later broke his own record several times in 2014 alone (5.05, 5.05, 5.15, 5.20, 5.21). By the time Obiena became ineligible for the national junior record, the record was 5.21 which Obiena set himself.[citation needed]

In the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, Obiena won a silver medal with a leap of 5.25 meters, that time his' personal record.[7] Obiena won a gold medal in the 2016 Philippine National Games Finals in Lingayen, Pangasinan after breaking a new personal record (5.47 meters), despite problems with his broken pole.

Obiena won gold in the men's pole vault event at the 2019 Summer Universiade[9] setting a new national record of 5.76 meters. He secured a berth in the 2020 Summer Olympics by surpassing the qualifying standard by making a 5.81 meters finish in a tournament in Chiara, Italy in September 3, 2019. The finish was also a national record.[10]

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships he failed to advance to the final round by finishing 15th out of 35 entrants through his 5.6 meters finish. He is aiming to surpass his own record targeting to leap 5.85 meters or further in training.[11]

Competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing the  Philippines
2013 Southeast Asian Games Naypyidaw, Myanmar 4th 4.90 m
2015 Southeast Asian Games Singapore 2nd 5.25 m
2016 Asian Indoor Championships Doha, Qatar 4th 5.40 m
2017 Asian Championships Bhubaneswar, India 3rd 5.50 m
2018 Asian Games Jakarta, Indonesia 7th 5.30 m
2019 Asian Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 5.71 m
Universiade Naples, Italy 1st 5.76 m
World Championships Doha, Qatar 15th (q) 5.60 m

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c d Reyes, Marc Anthony (12 February 2017). "Height of brilliance". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Giongco, Nick (23 February 2016). "Obiena places 4th, fails Olympic bid". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  5. ^ "78th Singapore Open Championships 2016 Results". 29 April 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Terrado, Reuben (January 4, 2016). "EJ Obiena set to complete pole vault training in Poland, looks to qualify for Rio through Doha tilt". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Villar, Joey (21 July 2014). "Obiena breaks 22-year-old PHL pole vault record". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  9. ^ Terrado, Reuben (13 July 2019). "EJ Obiena captures gold medal in Summer Universiade in Italy". Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  10. ^ Malanum, Jean (4 September 2019). "Pinoy pole vaulter Obiena earns 2020 Tokyo Olympics slot". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Obiena hoping to improve his leap to 5.85 meters or more". Manila Standard. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.

External links[edit]