EJ Obiena is confident of surpassing the six-meter mark following his record-breaking performance in the men’s pole vault event of the 2022 World Athletics Championships last week in Eugene, Oregon.
In an online show, the 26-year-old star athlete said surpassing the six-meter mark is doable after he breached the 5.94-meter mark that gave him the bronze medal in the biggest, most prestigious athletics event outside the Olympics.
World record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden claimed the crown with an impressive 6.21-meter performance while Chris Nilsen of the United States settled for the silver medal with 5.94 meters.
“I think in the right condition, I can do it in any competition. If we’re looking at analytics, the 5.94-meter jump was already past six meters,” Obiena said.
“My peak in the jump was at around 6.08 meters. Technically, I soared past six meters but the bar wasn’t at six meters. That part gets me excited.”
Obiena, the lone Asian who made it to the finals of the World Championships, is not part of the national squad following a messy legal battle with the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association (Patafa).
In fact, he only made it to the World Championships since it was part of the settlement agreement forged between him and athletics chief Philip Ella Juico during their mediation.
Although the federation made it clear that only its board of trustees can move for his reinstatement, Obiena remains confident under the leadership of new Patafa chief Terry Capistrano.
“I got to know sir Terry when I was struggling with my poles to Tokyo back in 2020 and 2021,” Obiena said, adding that reinstatement to the national squad will enable him to see action in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games and the 19th Asian Games next year.