‘Proud to carry the nation’: EJ Obiena thanks supporters amid new world ranking

September 2, 2021 - 1:00 PM
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Athletics - Diamond League - Paris - Stade Charlety, Paris, France - August 28, 2021 Philippines' Ernest John Obiena reacts during the men's pole vault (Reuters/Benoit Tessier)

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena on Thursday expressed gratitude after ranking fifth in the world men’s pole vault list.

In a Facebook post, the Thomasian athlete described himself as an “ordinary man guided by God’s extraordinary grace.”

He then thanked his supporters for their continued backing after his Tokyo 2020 Olympics stint.

“I may not meet the expectation of all, but I keep trying. Thank you for all the prayers and support,” Obiena wrote on Facebook.

“The journey continues and I am proud to carry the nation with me. Getting there,” he added.

Nearly a month after competing in Tokyo, Obiena on Saturday registered a new personal best and reset the national record after clearing 5.91-meters at the Paris leg of the Wanda Diamond League. He ranked second in the competition, only behind world number one Armand Duplantis of Sweden.

Last August 3, the 25-year-old athlete failed to make a podium finish as he was not able to clear 5.8 meters during the men’s pole vault final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

He registered a clearance of 5.70m and finished at 11th place with Germany’s Bo Kanda Lita Baehre.

While he missed the medal, Obiena made headlines for winning a case before officials of the Olympics men’s pole vault final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

READ: Pole vaulter EJ Obiena cheered for making his case before Olympics officials

Obiena earlier admitted he was not satisfied with his Olympic performance. However, he said he would take his time come back better.

“I ask I be given time to adequately reflect and learn. Asking about 2024 right now is not my first, second or even 10th thought. I am not thinking about 2024 right now. I am thinking about yesterday and gleaning all the learnings I can so I come back better,” Obiena said last month.

RELATED: EJ Obiena admits disappointment over Olympic stint

—Rosette Adel