January 29, 2023

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WORLD NO. 3 EJ OBIENA EYES TO DISCOVER MORE TALENTS IN THE COUNTRY

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World No. 3 pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena aims to discover the next generation of athletes in his sport by creating more grassroots programs in the country.

Although the 2024 Paris Olympics is his priority, the 26-year-old ace is planning some projects to help propagate the sport and provide opportunities for youngsters.

Obiena, during the Rebisco Biscuits brand ambassador launch, said that his hopes are high that his future endeavors will be realized through his partnership with the local biscuit brand.

“We were just talking and it is still quite confidential. But hopefully, we can push through with this. There are things that we and Rebisco probably wanna do. We’re pushing for that. Rebisco has been here helping the community, helping the Filipino people in every way that they can,” he said.

Rebisco, for its part, assured to support Obiena’s plans.

“We would discuss nga with EJ these programs. This is a partnership. It does not just take and take. EJ has a good vision for making pole vaulting known in the Philippines. We want to support our endorser, an inspiration to many,” marketing head Andrei Soriano said.

It can be recalled that Rebisco has its own grassroots program, the Rebisco Volleyball League, dedicated to high school athletes. It also owns Premier Volleyball League commercial teams Creamline Cool Smashers and Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

Obiena was thankful for his new endorsement as he wants to unburden Filipino taxpayers in paying for his training and competitions. He said that he wants to continue raising the Philippine flag internationally without asking the Filipinos for more.

Obiena, who ruled six of his last eight competitions in the outdoor season, recently returned to the Philippines in 2019 for a three-week vacation before he resumes his training and competition.

World No. 3 EJ Obiena

The Filipino Olympian and current Asian record holder also hope to bring top-notch competitions to the country. And a recent report said that he and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) plan to bring reigning world champion and Tokyo Olympics champion Armand Duplantis and No. 2 seed Christopher Nielsen to the Philippines for an international invitational next year.

Meanwhile, Obiena paid Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard Valencia, acting Flag Officer in Command of PN, a courtesy call that fueled talks that he is aspiring to be a military reservist either for the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) or the Navy.

Some national athletes have also become PN athlete-reservists like Olympian boxers Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno, and professional boxers Jerwin Ancajas, among others.

Obiena captured 12 gold, two silver, and three bronze medals in various European and Asian competitions this year. He set a new National and Asian Record after he made the 5.94-meter mark in the men’s pole vault of the 2022 World Athletics Championship in July in Oregon, the United States which earned him a historic bronze medal.

He also upset Duplantis to claim the gold medal in the Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium.

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