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Obiena seeks Paris ticket in Sweden

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF EJ Obiena/IG EJ Obiena would love to see his name on the early list of qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

EJ Obiena might end up punching a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics when he sees action in the BAUHAUS-Galan tournament in Stockholm on 2 July.

Obiena, fresh from breaking the six-meter barrier in Norway over the weekend, needs to do 5.82m to make the Olympic grade.

The Olympic qualifying period starts 1 July.

In the event Obiena fails to nail it in Sweden, he will attempt to do it during the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships in Pattaya, Thailand this 12 to 16 July.

Securing an Olympic berth will be extra-beneficial for Obiena since it would enable him to kick start his buildup for Paris.

The Italy-based Obiena pulled off the six-meter feat during the Sparebanken Vest Bergen Jump Challenge in Oslo, Norway several days ago.

Before proceeding to Sweden, Obiena will join another Diamond League event — the Oslo Bislett Games — also at the Norwegian capital on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

“On 2 July, I have a competition in Stockholm. It’s not something that is given automatically but something that I have to chase. The goal is to compete at the highest level,” Obiena said in a television interview yesterday.

“It doesn’t mean that I already jumped six meters, I’m going to Paris. The thing is I need to stay healthy and continue to work.”

“Hopefully after 2 July, I will be getting my qualification status and we’ll be good to go. That will be one less typing to worry about going into 2024.”

Getting the qualifying mark will be easier said than done in the Swedish tilt as world champion and hometown hero Armand Duplantis is poised totake part.

Also expected to participate are American pole vaulters Chris Nilsen, Sam Kendricks and KC Lightfoot with Obiena’s training partner, Thiago Braz of Brazil also slated to make an appearance.

Even if Obiena doesn’t hit the Olympic standard, there would still be the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September to look forward to aside from countless high-caliber meets in the coming months.

“There’s still a lot of work to do. I see this as one of the marks I needed to surpass and looking at that jump, there’s still a lot of things I need to work on. Definitely need to be more consistent moving forward,” Obiena said.

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