‘We are still proud’: Pinoys give virtual pat to EJ Obiena after podium-less world finish

March 5, 2024 - 4:21 PM
EJ Obiena
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena in Scotland in this photo posted on his Facebook on March 4, 2024; EJ in Switzerland in this photo posted on his Facebook on Aug. 31, 2023 (EJObiena/Facebook)

“We are still proud.”

Filipinos gave Olympian Ernest John “EJ” Obiena a virtual pat in the back after he missed the podium at the 2024 World Indoor Athletics Championships held in Glasglow, Scotland on Monday, March 4.

The pole vaulter took to social media to share that he fell flat in his bid to capture a medal in the centerpiece event of the indoor season, but added that it was “the reality of sports sometimes.”

“Took my chances, but it did not work out. Clearing one bar in the whole competition and coming in 9th [ninth] place. The reality of sports, sometimes,” EJ wrote on Facebook.

“First world indoor championships are in the books as the 2024 indoor season comes to a conclusion. Thank you, everyone, who came, watch and screamed their hearts out. I owe you one,” he added.

The athlete’s post has earned 7,800 likes and reactions, 50 shares and over 400 comments so far, with Filipinos assuring him despite missing the podium finish.

EJ finished ninth out of 11 pole vaulters who competed at the 19th edition of the World Athletics Indoor Championships.

He was able to clear 5.65 meters, but failed to clear 5.85 meters and 5.90 meters.

Swedish rival Armand Duplantis reigned supreme in the event after hurdling 6.05 meters.

America’s Sam Kendricks finished second with 5.90 meters while Greece’s Emmanouil Karalis ended up third with 5.85 meters.

Before the Glasgow competition, EJ had back-to-back gold medal finishes at the Memorial Jospic Gasparac indoor event in Croatia and the ISTAF Indoor 2024 in Germany.

ALSO READ: Obiena hits snag, finishes 9th at worlds

In the Germany competition, he cleared 5.93 meters to reset the Asian indoor record.

Meanwhile, Filipinos sent encouraging messages to the Pinoy Olympian following his finish without securing a spot on the podium in the latest event.

“It’s okay! Bawi sa next event mo. Don’t be discourage[d] by this setback,” a Facebook user said.

“Don’t worry, EJ Obiena – Ernest Obiena!! You did your best and we remain proud of you. Bounce back next competition! Praying for you,” another user wrote with folded hands emojis.

“Still, we support you,” commented a different Pinoy with emojis of a heart and folded hands.

“It is perfectly okay! We got you and are still so proud of how you carry our country,” another Filipino wrote.

Another online user said that EJ does not need to prove himself anymore following his achievement as the world’s No. 2-ranked male pole vaulter.

“Tbh [to be honest], wala ka na kailangan patunayan pa. What you may win sa mga susunod, bonus na lang. You already made your mark,” the user commented.

EJ is now gearing up for the outdoor season as he continues to prepare for the Paris Olympics this July.