Despite struggles to get to Poland, Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena won the gold in the 2022 Orlen Cup held in that country on Saturday.
The Filipino pole vaulter cleared 5.81 meters in his first attempt to top the field made up of eight competitors. He also tried to make another personal best and Asian record of 5.93 meters but was not able to clear the 5.95-meter bar in three attempts.
Meanwhile, Thiago Braz of Brazil and Piotr Lisek of Poland jumped both made 5.71 meters. The Brazilian, who is the 2016 Olympic champion, ended up second to the Filipino having cleared the bar in just one attempt.
According to a report by a news daily, Obiena did not have much funds to go to Poland and arrived rather late for the competition, denying him enough sleep.
“He takes odd hour flights to take advantage of the low budget airline fares, which is all he could really afford,” lawyer Bobbet Bruce told a national daily.
This means Obiena had to use his own money to go to Poland.
Obiena’s request for funds was approved by the Philippine Sports Commission but this was not released over questions raised by the head of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) over his liquidation reports.