A CALM afternoon wind blew in Ernest John Obiena’s favor.
This helped the 20-year-old Obiena break the national pole vault record for the third time this year as he cleared 5.5 meters on his first attempt on Saturday at the Philsports Track Stadium in Pasig City.
The 20-year-old Obiena’s feat became the second officially recognized Philippine record at the close of the three-day 2016 Ayala-Philippine National Open Invitational Athletics Championships.
“The wind was calm. It was OK. It was a comfortable jump. I wasn’t expecting the first attempt to go in. Pero, binigay ng Diyos iyung first attempt,” said the lanky Obiena.
This allowed Obiena to move 20 centimeters closer to the Olympic qualifying standard of 5.7 meters.
National team member Janry Ubas and former La Salle varsity bet-turned stock broker Adel Valdecanas settled for the silver and bronze, respectively, with their clearances of 4.4 meters.
Obiena had been breaking the national mark over the last two years. This year, he did it twice, first in the UAAP at 5.46 meters last February and then in March with a clearance of 5.47 in the Philippine National Games.
The other national record recognized by the PATAFA was that of 19-year-old Aira Teodosio’s girls’ hammer-throw heave of 38.95 meters.