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Higit pa sa medalya: Obiena ipinakilala ang larong pole vault sa Pilipinas

Bukod sa karangalan na binigay niya sa bansa, ito rin ay nagsilbing paraan upang mamulat ang madla sa iba’t ibang laro na mayroon sa Pilipinas. 

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Obiena sa Tokyo 2020 Olympics Men's Pole Vault Finals (Kuha ni Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters)

Ang Tomasinong Pole Vaulter na si Ernest John Obiena ang kaisa-isang Asyanong manlalaro na nakatungtong sa finals ng Men’s Pole Vault sa Tokyo 2020 Olympics na ginanap noong ika-3 ng Agosto 2021.

Bukod sa karangalan na binigay niya sa bansa, ito rin ay nagsilbing paraan upang mamulat ang madla sa iba’t ibang laro na mayroon sa Pilipinas. 

“Mas marami ka pang matuturuan at malay mo isa diyan next olympian, next EJ,” sabi ni Antonio Chee, miyembro ng coaching staff ng Philippine Pole Vault Club, sa isang eksklusibong panayam sa TomasinoWeb.

Naniniwala ang dating kasamahan ni Obiena sa UST Track and field, na si Bb. Happy Denuyo na ang laro ni Obiena sa Olympics ay nagsilbing game changer para sa mga Pilipinong pole vaulter dahil mas nakilala ang larong ito sa bansa.

“I hope this is also a wake up call…I hope this also opens a door na matuto at magturo ng pole vault para may mas representative tayo,” ani ni Denuyo. 

Si Obiena ang may hawak ng national record sa larangan ng pole vaulting sa taas na 5.87 na metro. Gayunpaman, patuloy niyang ipinamalas ang kanyang galing sa bawat internasyonal na patimpalak na kanyang sinalihan.

Bago sumabak sa Olympics, naranggo si Obiena bilang ika-6 sa buong mundo sa larangan ng pole vaulting. 

READ  Obiena secures podium finishes in two pre-Olympic meets

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Men’s Pole Vault Finals  

Matagumpay na naitawid ni Obiena ang 5.50  at 5.70 na metro sa finals ng men’s pole vault. Ngunit sa pagsabak niya sa 5.80 na metro, nagkaroon siya ng tatlong foul na naging sanhi ng pagtatapos ng kanyang kampanya.

Nanawagan si Obiena sa mga opisyales ng laro ukol sa patuloy na pagtakbo ng oras habang itinataas pa lamang ang bar. Napagbigyan siya ng isang pang pagkakataon na subukan muli ang taas na 5.80 na metro, ngunit nabigo siyang lagpasan ito. 

“A valiant performance still. You have made everyone very very proud. We’ll watch out for you in Paris 2024! pahayag ng kamag-anak ni EJ na si Edward Obiena, sa kanyang Facebook post. 

READ  Obiena clinches finals berth in Olympic pole vaulting debut

Sa 14 na manlalaro, nagtapos si Obiena bilang ika-11 matapos niyang malampasan ang mga taas na 5.50 at 5.70 na metro. 

Nagwagi ng ginto si Armand Duplantis mula sa Sweden na nakapagtala ng 6.02 na metro, malapit sa kanyang world record na 6.03 na metro. Pangalawa naman si Christopher Nielsen ng Estados Unidos and pangatlo si Thiago Braz ng Brazil.  

Inilinaw ni Obiena sa isang interbyu kasama si Gretchen Ho na hindi maganda ang kanyang pakiramdam habang ginaganap ang finals match.

“I think it’s more mental than physical. You win some, you lose some,” sabi ng Tomasinong pole vaulter.

Sa isang Facebook post rin ni Obiena, nilinaw niya na naroon pa rin ang kanyang kagustuhan na magbigay ng karangalan sa bansa.

“I will be back, and I will be back to win,” dagdag ni Obiena.

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PATAFA drops Obiena from national pool amid fund misappropriation

The federation is also set to file criminal charges of estafa against Obiena after their investigative committee revealed that the Thomasian misappropriated the amount of 61,026.80 euros (P 3,661,608).

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Photo courtesy of Philippine News Agency

Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena is set to be dropped from the national training pool of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), the federation announced on Jan. 4, Tuesday. 

This is after the body’s investigative committee released its results on the Olympian’s alleged falsification of liquidation documents and late payments to his coach, Vitaly Petrov.

The federation is also set to file criminal charges of estafa against Obiena after their investigative committee revealed that the Thomasian misappropriated the amount of 61,026.80 euros (P 3,661,608) which were released to him by the PATAFA and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as payment to the coaching services of Petrov.

On Nov. 21, 2021, Obiena debunked the  allegations of misuse of government funds to pay his coach.

“I have prided myself in embracing the values of discipline, competitiveness, honor, transparency and respect. This doesn’t change even in times of crisis,” Obiena said.

His mother, former PATAFA auditor Jeanette Obiena, also allegedly misappropriated the amount of P 624,116.76 which she claimed from the PSC as payment to Petrov but was not used as payment as of August 2021.

PATAFA will also file a complaint before the World Athletics against Petrov for violation of the Integrity Code of Conduct, and declare Obiena’s adviser, James Lafferty, as a persona non grata. 

The PATAFA also intends to immediately terminate all engagements of Petrov as Obiena’s coach.

The recommendations have been approved by the PATAFA’s board of trustees and the full report will be sent to the PSC and the Commission on Audit.

Before 2021 ended, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) no longer recognized Philip Juico as the president of the PATAFA after he was declared as persona non grata by POC president Bambo Tolentino.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Thomasian among top nine finalists in 2022 UAAP Logo Design Contest

Ralph Rainell Estrella, a fourth-year student from the College of Fine Arts and Design, was included in the top nine out of 200 entries received by the UAAP for their contest.

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Photo courtesy of The UAAP's official Facebook page

A Thomasian secured a spot among the top nine finalists, as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) revealed the winning entries for their Logo Design Contest on Friday, Dec. 17.

Ralph Rainell Estrella, a fourth-year student from the College of Fine Arts and Design, was included in the top nine out of 200 entries received by the UAAP for their contest.

The criteria stated that the winning logo must embody the vision, mission, and principles of UAAP which reflects the sports culture in the country and the history of the league itself.

Inspired by the traditional sport “sipa,” the winning design of Far Eastern University student Darryl John Digal will be formally used during the UAAP season 84 opening. 

The winning logo also replaces the eight-decade old logo used by one of the country’s collegiate leagues and will be used for various purposes such as official merchandise and other visual collateral. 

A total cash prize of PHP 100,000 along with its trophy and certificate will be given to the top winning design. The 2nd and 3rd place entries will also receive a cash prize and a certificate, while the 4th to 10th place will receive gift check certificates.

With the new logo, the league is now eyeing for the resumption of UAAP Season 84 with its basketball and volleyball season opening in early 2022.

Charles Joseph Nicolas
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UST receives accreditation to resume athletic training for UAAP Season 84

From the target resumption of competition being February 2022, the CHED now looks at March 2022 as the possible month of resumption for the UAAP.

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Rev. Fr. Rodel S. Cansancio receives the Certificate of Accreditation for the University’s in-house training bubble, along with CHED chairman Prospero De Vera and DOH secretary Fransisco Duque III.

The University has received its Certificate of Authority for the resumption of the athletic training on Monday, Dec. 13, in preparation for the upcoming UAAP Season and other sports events.

The University has complied with all requirements necessary requested by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH).

Last Saturday, the education and health departments’ officials visited UST to inspect the carpark building that will be used for the training bubble of the University’s basketball and volleyball teams.

The bubble training will be allowed at 50 percent capacity for areas under Alert Level 2 and full capacity for areas under Alert Level 1.

Only fully vaccinated student-athletes and coaches are allowed to participate in the training sessions, upon the agreed health guidelines.

From the target resumption of competition being February 2022, the CHED now looks at March 2022 as the possible month of resumption for the UAAP.

The collegiate league has been halted since April 2020 as both seasons 82 and 83 have been canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
Sports Writer | + posts

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