PSC OKs P2M budget for pole vaulter EJ Obiena

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has approved a budget of P2 million for the continued training in Italy of Tokyo Olympics-bound pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

Philippine Track and Field Association (Patafa) president Philip Ella Juico said the supplemental budget would cover Obiena’s accommodations in Formia, a seaside city between Rome and Naples.

Juico said even if travel restrictions are loosened by the Philippines and Italian authorities in the coming months, Obiena will remain holed up in the Olympic Training Center in Formia.

“He is staying put there,” said Juico, stressing there is no better venue for the 23-year-old to rev up for the July 23-Aug. 9 Tokyo Games but in Italy.

Obiena has been training in Formia the last few years and following his success in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in December, he flew back there to hook up with renowned coach Vitaly Petrov.

The 6-2 Obiena earned a slot to Tokyo – the first Filipino athlete to do so – after winning an event in Italy last September.

As for the US-based athletes preparing to compete in Olympic-sanctioned events, Juico said they are all awaiting for the go-signal to proceed.

“We are all dependent on what the authorities are going to say,” said Juico.

At least four Fil-Am tracksters are primed to participate in Olympic qualifying tournaments.

“The US is just about to open up so we’ll see,” said Juico.

Meanwhile, the Patafa is coming up with a training protocol that will soon end up on the laps of its athletes for guidance.

“It is based not just on our findings but on studies abroad relative to outdoor sports like athletics,” added Juico.

Date: May 20, 2020 | By: Nick Giongco | Newspaper: Manila Bulletin | Source: