Obiena’s relentless in keeping top form

HANOI—A world-class athlete will always crave for world-class training—not to mention relentless training.

Asian men’s pole vault record holder Ernest John “EJ” Obiena took a circuitous flight from his base in Formia, Italy, to get to the Vietnamese capital that took almost 24 hours.

But rest was farthest from his mind.

The Tokyo Olympian immediately hit the gym at the Daewoo Hotel to do some light training in the weight room.

“It was a long journey, but okay overall,” said Obiena, who also plans to train on Friday at the My Dinh National Stadium after his flag-bearing duty on Thursday. “I hope I get clearance to feel the venue.”

The 26-year-old Obiena, the world’s sixth best pole vaulter but Asia’s best with a World Athletics score of 1374, is expected to shatter his own Southeast Asian Games record of 5.45 meters he set when the Philippines hosted the biennial meet in 2019.

He currently holds the Philippine record of 5.91 meters, achieved during the Meeting de Paris at the Stade Charlety, Paris on August 28 last year.