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Obiena seeks lasting legacy


This early, EJ Obiena is already working to leave a lasting legacy.

The 27-year-old Obiena had started auctioning some of his personal items to raise funds that will be used to purchase pole vault pits that he will distribute all over the country.

Some of the items that are up for auction are the competition uniforms that he used during the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships, the 2023 Southeast Asian Games and the 19th Asian Games. Interested parties can place their bids at

Obiena said he is also accepting donations as he aims to raise P1 million. So far, the donations have totaled P10,750 at press time.

“Those are the real ones. You can check the photos from the game, those are the real ones. To be honest, I wanted to keep it so that when I grow up, I will be able to show it off. But I think right now, they have a better purpose,” Obiena said while showing some of his personal items.

“The value of it becomes better when we get pole vault pits. We have our next Olympic, SEA Games and Asian Games champions in the making and if that’s the price of paying, it’s an easy decision to make.”

Obiena is still currently in the country to rest before flying back to Europe on 15 October to resume his training.

It was such a successful season for him as he capped it with a record-breaking performance to clinch his first gold medal in the Asian Games.

The feat netted him a massive amount of incentives as he received P5 million from the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc., P3 million from the Chiang Kai Shek College board of trustees and P1 million each from businessmen Carlos Chan and Anson Tan.

Obiena is also slated to receive P2 million from the government and P1 million from the Philippine Olympic Committee, jacking up his windfall to a total of P13 million.

Aside from training, Obiena will share the incentives with his staff, including legendary pole vault coach Vitaly Petrov of Ukraine.

“I’m still thinking how to utilize it but what came first to my mind is that I need to share it with my team. The athlete might be the one who’s competing but behind my back is a team that sacrificed at work, who sticks with me throughout what I’ve been through,” Obiena said.

“I think they deserve it too as well. It’s not just me.”

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