Ernest John Obiena (updated)

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Ernest John Obiena

Ernest John Obiena



Born: 17th November, 1995

College: University of Santo Tomas (previously Ateneo De Manila)

Coach: Vitaly Petrov and Emerson Obiena

Philippine Team 2014 Onwards

Ernest John Obiena is Filipino Pole Vaulter. He holds all four major national Pole Vault records. He has broken the Philippine National Record 16 times. Also holding the National Record at 5.55m and the National Indoor Record at 5.40m, Also holding the National Junior Record 5.21m, and National Junior Indoor Record at 5.00m.

Consequently his National Record was accomplished in April 29, 2016 at the 78th Singapore Open Championships in Kallang, Singapore.

Also Ernest John Obiena is the first Filipino that have been given a scholarship from the International Athletic Association Federation (IAAF).

Sporting career

Obiena’s father, Emerson serves as his coach. Also formerly served as the former Athletics national team member.

In early 2014, for three months, Obiena with his father was given an opportunity to train under coach Vitaly Petrov in Formia, Italy. First of all Vitaly had previously coached Sergey Bubka. As a result of this in July 20, 2014, at the PATAFA weekly relays held at the PhilSports Football and Athletics Stadium. Hence Obiena broke the national record for pole vault by registering 5.01 meters. The previous record was 5.0 meters by Edward Lasquete at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Consequently the junior national record was also broken, since Obiena at that time is 18 years old. While the previous record was 4.31 set three years ago.

Most noterworthy he later broke his own record several times in 2014 alone (5.05, 5.05, 5.15, 5.20, 5.21). Hence by the time Obiena became ineligible for the national junior record, the record was 5.21 which Obiena set himself.

Therefore in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, Obiena won a silver medal with a leap of 5.25 meters, that time his’ personal record. In addition Obiena won a gold medal in the 2016 Philippine National Games Finals in Lingayen, Pangasinan after breaking a new personal record (5.47 meters). While having problems with a broken pole.



I am a filipino vaulter who has a dream to become a world class athlete. I am currently the National Indoor record holder and i have equalled the highest vault of a filipino which is 5.00 meters. I am aiming to qualify and join the World Juniors Championship this coming July in Eugene, Oregon

Hi! I am Ernest John Obiena 18 years old. I am from Manila, Philippines. My Goal is to Qualify to the upcoming World Juniors Championship. While under my father’s supervision, I was able to clear 5m in Nan-tou International Pole Vault Championship this year. Also I placed 7th out of 26 competitors, which came from Taiwan, Malaysia, USA, China, Japan, Australia, and Thailand. Consequently my performance set a new record both for the National Junior indoor Record and National Men Indoor Record.

Ernest Obiena bending the pole.

Ernest Obiena bending the pole.

While my Goal is to clear 5.05m officially before July 2014 to be the first home grown Filipino to qualify and represent our country in the World Juniors Championship in Eugene, Oregon USA.

Since usually we are sending “token athletes” in the World Junior Championship because we have not yet hit the qualifying standard. Because my Personal Record as of now is 5.00m, which is just 5cm (2”) off the standard set by the World Juniors Championship committee. Also I had been clearing this height at times during training. Because I have to do it officially in an IAAF recognized competitions and clear 5.05 officially.

Hence Since June 2013 up to present the only Track Oval with pole vault facility (Pasig, Ultra) in metro manila is not available for use. Due to ongoing renovations. First of all we are blessed to have someone who help us get pass thru this crisis like Mr. Misael Perez and Mr. Ricky Palou of Ateneo, Fr. Ermito de Sagon OPD, Mr. Manny Calipes and Mr. Joey Lao of UST, Mr. Anthony Dee of Dee Hua Liong High School and others to train in their facilities. Because of this Pole Vaulting was able to continue and progress.

Furthermore on January 12, 2014, I met the World Record Holder in my event, which is Mr. Sergey Bubka. Mr Bubka said the I should apply for the Olympic B project that the IAAF is offering for athletes like me. Also he encouraged my coach/father to join so that he could learn more and continue my training after the program in Italy. Hence with Gods blessing I was able to clear 5m, Became I was eligible for the program, and was offered a 90 days scholarship to train in Formia, Italy. While unfortunately my coach/father have to shoulder all his expenses in joining me.

Consequently the program offered by the IAAF would be a big help for us to prepare for the upcoming World Juniors Championship. And we can apply the additional knowledge we learned and help improve Pole Vaulting further more in our country. Also I am humbly asking for your generosity by helping us to save money for my father/coach’s Plane Ticket, Accommodation, Food and Transpo. Consequently The total amount (7300) will cover the 90-day of stay in Formia, Italy under Vitaly Petrov the coach of Mr. Sergey Bubka.

First of all this Opportunity is very rare and I am most grateful that I was picked among others to join this program. Also this would help me accomplish my goal to represent my country in a world-class competition.

Thank you very much for reading.


ERNEST JOHN Obiena Performance Progress
Performance Event Placing Year

  1. 5.55m Singapore Open 1st 19-Apr-16
  2. 5.50m National Open, Pasig 1st 9-Apr-16
  3. 5.47m PNG, Pasig 1st 14-Mar-16
  4. 5.40m  Asian Indoor, Doha, Qatar 4th  (National Indoor Record) 20-Feb-16
  5. 5.46m UAAP, Pasig 1st 18-Feb-16
  6. 5.45m Weekly Relays, Pasig 1st 27-Sep-15
  7. 5.40m Thailand Open, Rangsit 1st 7-Sep-15
  8. 5.30m International Busan June-15
  9. 5.25m Taipei Open, 2nd 15-May-15
  10. 5.21m Weekly Relays, Pasig 28-Apr-2014
  11. 5.20m Singapore Open, 2014
  12. 5.15m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  13. 5.10m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  14. 5.06m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  15. 5.05m Weekly Relays, Pasig
  16. 5.01m Weekly Relays, Pasig
    5.00m Taipei indoor 7th 26-Mar-14
    4.90m Singapore Track & field series 1st Feb. 15-16, 2013
    4.95m Weekly Relay 1st Sept 28,2013
    4.90m Thailand Open 2nd Sept 3-6,2013
    4.90m Hong Kong 1st June 29-30,2013
    4.75m Singapore open 2nd June 15-16, 2013
    4.54m PNG 1st May 28-June2, 2013
    4.50m Uaap 1st Dec. 4,2012
    4.45m Weekly Relay 1st 24-Nov-12
    4.42m FCAAF 1st February 16-17, 2012
    4.41m MTaipei indoor 2nd March 27,2012
    4.31m FCAAF 1st April 4-5,2012
    4.20m Weekly Relay 1st 2011
    4.05m Asean School Singapore 7th July 1-7, 2011
    3.70m Palarong Pambansa 2nd 27-Apr-11
    4.00m Taipei indoor March ,2011
    3.20m Palarong Pambansa 2nd April 11-17, 2010
  17. 3.00m Nantou , 2009 (first international meet)

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