POLE vaulter Ernest John Obiena, the first of two Filipino athletes who have clinched a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, admits it is a dream come true for him to be in the Olympics next year.
However, even with the excitement in biggest sporting event, the former University of Santo Tomas standout is not looking too far ahead considering that there is the 30th SEA Games in December.
“My eyes are on the coming SEA Games,” says Obiena, a favorite to win the SEA Games gold medal in the pole vault event as his current best of 5.81 meters is ranked 10th in the world.
“I may have the slight edge but it’s a competition. Anything can happen. Hopefully I can be the one standing on top of the podium holding the Philippine flag,” he says.
Obiena is fully aware that in each competition, the bar is raised, and he expects higher marks in the coming SEA Games. The pole vault competition is set Dec. 7 at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, which is the main hub of the biennial event.
“What I can do is do what I can,” said Obiena. “I will do my best to win the SEA Games gold. It’s our home country. It’s going to be a shame if I lose and I know that,” said Obiena.
“The Thais are really good, the Malaysians and the young Indonesians. You’ll never know,” he added.
A Manila-based volleyball coach recently visited a high school volleyball team in the province as he is eyeing to recruit one of its key players but his trip turned out to be a disappointment.
A source told the Buzzer Beater that the player that the head coach is trying to recruit have showed her attitude that made the former think twice of recruiting her to his collegiate team.
“Actually, isa si player sa mga pinunta ni coach doon, aside from his other prospects na matagal na niyang nakita, but nadismaya si coach kasi medyo may attitude pala,” the source said.
“Kasi bukod sa recruitment, nagmagandang loob si Manila-based coach na i-drill ‘yung mga players ng high school team. Eh napansin ni coach si player na side comment nang side comment sa tabi kaya ayun, na-turnoff siya,” he added.
“Nakakapanghinayang lang kay player kasi pagkakataon na sana niya para makalaro sa big leagues kaso umiral ang pagiging pasaway niya. Pati tuloy ‘yung coach niya sa high school team hiyang-hiya dahil maktol ng maktol si player.”
“Inisip sana ni player na isang karangalan na mai-train siya ng magaling na coach. Sino ba siya para mag-prima donna? Eh ‘yung players ni coach sa Manila may anak ng pulitiko pero training pa din. Kapal naman ng mukha ni high school player para magmalaki,” the source concluded./PN