Obiena to open Philippine athletics' Paris Olympic bid

Obiena to open Philippine athletics' Paris Olympic bid
EJ Obiena
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Medal hopeful EJ Obiena will jumpstart Philippine athletics’ campaign in the coming Paris Olympics.

The World No. 2 pole vaulter will compete in the qualification on August 3 at the Stade de France at 10 a.m. local time (or around 4 p.m. in Manila) as he spearheads the bid of the three-man Filipino tracksters.

The pole vault finals is set on August 5.

Meanwhile, hurdlers Lauren Hoffman and John Cabang-Tolentino see action in their respective heats on August 4 in the same national stadium.

The 23-year-old Hoffman, a Filipino-American, is entered in the women’s 400m hurdles, while Cabang-Tolentino will run at 11 a.m. (5 p.m. Manila time) in the men’s 110m; followed by Hoffman at 12:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Manila time).

Speaking in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Rizal Memorial Complex, Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) secretary-general Jasper Tanhueco said all three athletes are now in the final stages of their training in Europe with about two weeks left before the Games go full blast in Paris

Tanhueco, however, is not in the business of predicting on how the Filipino tracksters will do, especially the 28-year-old Obiena, who is considered one of the top medal bets of the compact Philippine delegation.

“We’re positive about our chances. I don’t want to put pressure on these guys. But we know they’ve been training hard for them to reach this stage,” said the Patafa official during the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, Smart/PLDT, and the country’s 24/7 sports app, ArenaPlus.

“We just need to believe in our athletes. We’re confident they will perform at the highest level. They’re not there to participate but hopefully win medals for our country.”

Cabang-Tolentino, who is currently in Spain with his coach, and Hoffman are eyeing to join the rest of the Philippine contingent in its training camp in Metz, France either on July 23 or 24.

Obiena on the other hand, is in a secluded training camp in Italy with his three-man team of coach Vitaly Petrov, Dr. Antonio Guglieta (osteopath) and Dr. Sheryl Casuga (sports psychologist).

Tanhueco said there’s no official word yet on when the Filipino delegation would be arriving in Paris as the Olympics gets underway on July 26.

“Were waiting for words from the POC. We’re in communication with them on final dates on when we can enter the (Athletes’) Village,” added the Patafa official.

Patafa president Terry Capistrano will be leaving for Paris on July 23 and is set to join Team Philippines during the opening ceremony parade along with Hoffman.

Miguel White was the last Filipino trackster to medal in the Olympics, bagging a bronze in the men’s 400 meter hurdles during the 1936 Berlin Games.

vuukle comment





  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with