Ernest John Obiena, who is tied with three others at no. 33 in the world senior rankings, feels positive about what’s coming this week.
The 24-year-old Obiena, who has qualified to the Tokyo Olympics, expressed his upbeat feelings after settling for a silver in Trieste, Italy last week.
Obiena will try to improve on his 5.45-meter performance this Friday in the International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) Diamond League in Monaco.
“So far, to be honest now, it’s positive. These past few months, everything seems to be clicking, a little bit better than before. So, that’s really good,” said Obiena in a podcast hosted by Sports Nook PH.
The 6’2 ½” Obiena said his decision to join the Trieste event was done at the last minute when he and his training partner, Rio Olympics champion Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil decided to show up at the 13th Triveneto International Meeting.
“It was a last minute competitions that I decided to take part. Because it was in Italy, we did not need to travel much,” said Obiena.
He said he did not expect anything to come out his participation.
“5.45 meters is not that bad. We could have done a lot, to be honest,” said Obiena.
This time, Obiena said he hopes to bring out his competitive side in Monaco.
“I was a little bit nervous in competition when it started to sink in. I think I need a little more (competition) to feel that I am EJ, and feel the competitiveness,” said Obiena.
In the World Athletics men’s ranking in pole vault Obiena is no. 16th in the world. He is the highest ranked male pole vaulter in Asia ahead of Bokai Huang of China (17th place) and Seito Yamamoto of Japan (18th place).
Obiena is set to have his third appearance in the Diamond League.
His other rivals in the Olympiad are expected to be around. World record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden is expected to make his presence felt.
Last year, Obiena settled for fourth place in the 2019 Diamond League in Doha behind American Sam Kendricks, de Silva and Yamamoto of Japan.