With the success EJ Obiena is now enjoying, the Filipino Olympian and pole vaulter hopes to inspire people to be among the best in the world.
Obiena said this is one of his goals as he continues to break records and win medals in his tournaments.
“The short-term goal is to hopefully inspire people who dream of being one of the best in the world, if not one of the best in Asia, to compete and put the Philippine flag somewhere out there. Obiena said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old vaulter expressed his hope with his recent success at the World Athletics Championships to set a good example for those who also dream of representing the Philippines on the world stage.
“I hope I kind of epitomized that. A kid from a small town in Tondo, which is probably one of the weirder places you’ll find – now I’d be proud to say – a world medalist.”
However, his long-term goal is to bring pole vaulting to every part of the country.
“I hope I can bring pole vaulting to every corner of the Philippines. You never know who the talents are that we will find,” said Obiena, citing 31st Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Hocket delos Santos as an example.
“Who would have thought that the next guy in line would come from Ilagan, Isabela, where they didn’t have access to the facilities? Then it’s just lucky that there are people in Ilagan who make sure that these athletes have access to these facilities and that they can I did it and in a few years you have a silver medalist. I hope I can do it.”
Obiena won his first medal of the World Athletics Championships in the Philippines on Monday, winning bronze after clearing 5.94 meters.
—JMB, GMA News
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