‘This dreamer dares to dream’: EJ Obiena celebrates World No. 2 rank in men’s pole vault

July 20, 2023 - 11:55 AM
Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Men's Pole Vault - Final - Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - July 24, 2022 Philippines' Ernest John Obiena reacts during the men's pole vault final (Reuters/Aleksandra Szmigiel)

EJ Obiena now stood next to Armand Duplantis, the world’s top pole vaulter.

Obiena rose to number 2 in the men’s pole vault rankings with 1,432 points, according to the World Athletics ranking. He surpassed American Chris Nilsen in the spot. Nilsen follows closely with 1,428 points.

READ: Obiena seizes No. 2 pole vault ranking

The Filipino athlete shared this achievement on his social media accounts on July 20, accompanied by photos of his tournaments.

“Good morning, Philippines! Your very own skinny kid from Tondo, an alumnus of CKSC (Chiang Kai Shek College) and UST (University of Santo Tomas), is now world number two,” Obiena said.

He also expressed his deepest gratitude to the people who supported him to fulfill his dream.

“Thank you to everyone who made this possible and my deepest gratitude to those who went to war so that I could continue this dream. This is not just my accomplishment alone, but everyone’s,” Obiena said.

“Maraming salamat Pilipinas sa pagkakataon na iwagayway ang iyong diwa. This dreamer dares to dream,” he added.

Based on World Athletics, here are the top male pole vaulters in the world:

  1. Duplantis from Sweden
  2. Obiena from the Philippines
  3. Nilsen from the US
  4. Sam Kendricks from the US
  5. Thiago Braz from Brazil

Filipinos cheered Obiena and congratulated him for reaching this milestone.

“Konting push na lang maabutan na si Duplantis. Malupit din kasi yun parang si Lastikman. Push lang idol maabutan mo din yan,” a Facebook user said.

“Congrats! EJ Obiena – Ernest Obiena for your hard work to represent the Philippines. Proud kami sayo,” another Facebook user commented.

This news also came ahead of his bid for the Paris Olympics 2024.

Obiena qualified for his second appearance at the multinational sports competition after his successful run at the Stockholm Diamond League that was held in Sweden on July 1.

He cleared 5.82 meters, thus following Duplantis at 6.05 meters.

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Obiena also made history for being the first and only Asian to be part of an exclusive club of athletes who cleared six-meter jumps in pole vaulting last June.

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