Ernest John “EJ” Obiena, a native Filipino who competes at the highest level in pole vaulting, is looking forward to hosting an invitational competition in the Philippines the next year.
The No. 1 player in the world and the gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Swedish player Armand Duplantis, the No. 2 player in the world and the silver medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Chris Nilsen of the United States of America, the No. 4 player in the world and the gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Thiago Braz of Brazil, and Obiena will lead the star-studded event that will be held at The Picnic Grove, which is one of Tag
During their chat the previous week in Tagaytay, Obiena and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino discussed Obiena’s proposal. “The idea is to bring them here after the outdoor season is finished,” Obiena stated. “The objective is to bring them here after the outdoor season is over.”
A German long jumper named Caroline Joyeaux, who was the pole vaulter’s girlfriend, was also present at the competition.
A former congressman who is now the mayor of Tagaytay City, Tolentino, referred to The Picnic Grove as “an amazing site.”
“With the Taal Volcano as a backdrop, what more could you want for — a world-class pole vault action in one of the most stunning tourist destinations in the country,” said one of the organizers of the event. Every landing will look like it belongs on a postcard, he promised.
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According to the third-ranked athlete in the world, Obiena, the setup of the venue is the same as in Europe. It is a street venue, and the runway, the box, the crossbars, and the landing area can all be simply relocated or collapsed.
Due to the fact that the outdoor season in Europe comes to a close in the first week of September and the Asian Games are scheduled to take place in Huangzhou, China during the same month in 2019, the invitational for the pole vault could take place at the end of September, the beginning of October, or somewhere in the middle of the month.
Obiena stated that the objective is to create a spectator-friendly invitational event that is sanctioned by World Athletics, the worldwide governing organization of the sport.
Tolentino pointed out that tourism will gain from the staging of the pole vault invitational, noting that “it’s wonderful for tourism and the Philippines will be on the international pole vaulting map.” In spite of the packed agenda for the following year, it is not impossible to accomplish. We need to put a lot of thought into the planning of this because the event is going to be quite significant.
According to Obiena, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which is led by Noli Eala, and the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), which is led by Terry Capistrano as president, would both play an important part in ensuring the success of the tournament.
According to Obiena, who won gold in both the 2019 and 2022 Southeast Asian Games, “We are looking to collaborate with of POC and PSC, it’s a hybrid collaboration.”
Additionally, he stated, “I also love to see Hackett de los Santos experience and compete with the top athletes.” In May of 2017, Delos Santos won a silver medal at the Southeast Asian Games held in Vietnam.
Because I believe that this will go down in history, I am working hard to make it happen. “The pole vault is a common competition, so it’s not out of the question,” said Obiena.
He has high hopes that the PSC, various local government entities, and large businesses will be inspired to construct additional pole vaulting sites across the country.
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