Pole vaulter EJ Obiena got the support of a private entity for his Olympic bid.
Obiena signed a two-year sponsorship with Ayala Land, Incorporated (ALI) for his training in going to the Paris Olympics in 2024.
This deal was announced on the Facebook page of the ALI on February 24.
“Go for the gold!” the post reads.
“Ayala Land supports pole vaulter EJ Obiena in [his] Olympic bid,” the post added.
Representatives who are included in the signing are ALI Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, ALI President and CEO Bernard Vincent Dy, and real estate developers Vermosa and the City Flats.
“Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub will also be EJ’s official training grounds in the Philippines while The CityFlats will be his home when in Metro Manila,” the ALI said.
Photos of the signing were also included in the post.
This development came after Obiena pulled out of the Asian Indoor Championships this month due to logistics and financial concerns.
The world no. 3 pole vaulter announced this sad news to his supporters on Facebook.
“I am truly heartbroken to share this news. I shall be unable to participate in the upcoming Asian Indoor Championships next week in Kazakhstan. I won’t be able to bring glory to my country,” Obiena said back then.
Financial woes have plagued Obiena’s pole vaulting career since his funding controversy with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association in 2021.
His supporters rallied behind him online to call for government and private support once again after missing out on the regional sports competition.
This time, they cheered for this timely partnership.
“Congrats EJ and thank you, Ayala! God bless you more,” one Facebook user said.
“Now EJ can soar to the highest level as the emotional, psychological, financial burdens he is carrying will be alleviated by the private sponsorships,” another supporter commented on Facebook.
Last September, Obiena bagged six gold medals and a historic bronze at the World Athletics Championship in Europe.
He is currently training in preparation for his bid at the Paris Olympics 2024.