Support for Olympian Ernest John “EJ” Obiena will further improve.
Philippine Sports Commission chairman Noli Eala said this after hearing the situation from the world no. 3 pole vaulter himself following his return to the country on Thursday.
The needs of Obiena’s coach Vitaly Petrov and a support team that will be assembled for him will be addressed, while details of his high-performance training in Formia, Italy will be studied so the government sports agency can help Obiena better.
“Napag-usapan na naming iyung mga problem. In general, mayroon na kaming mga verbal na kasunduan, na ngayon ay aayusin na namin,” said Eala following Obiena’s courtesy call.
Eala said Obiena has been laying out his plans and situations with him even before he became PSC chairman, and this is the reason why he understands what he has gone through.
“I had that kind of relation with EJ in the past. He’s a guy I follow, at napag-usapan na namin iyung mga problema niya,” said Eala.
Preparations for the Paris Olympics begins next month for Obiena.
And while the 26-year-old Obiena takes a three-week break before he prepares again for the indoor season in Europe, he will also thresh out problems and situations, which arose before he competed in the Tokyo Olympics last year.
“I need to balance my goals and be hungry when I go back. That’s why I’m doing all this,” said Obiena.
“It will be my last for me to be here before Paris. We are already planning the things that we need to do,” said Obiena.
At the end of his vacation, Obiena returns to Formia to undergo daily training sessions with the 77-year-old Petrov.
At first, this will prepare Obiena for the indoor season in Europe by January and his journey to qualify for the Paris Olympics as well.
Obiena and his girlfriend, German trackster Caroline Joyeux, visited Philippine Olympic Committee president and city mayor Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in Tagaytay City for a courtesy call on Friday.
The 21-year old Joyeux, who is in a relationship with the Obiena for the last three years, is also a national athlete from Berlin, Germany, dabbling in long jump, triple jump and in the 100-meter sprints. Joyeux is ranked no. 74 in the world in triple jump.