Joining the 13th Triveneto International Meeting last week provided the Tokyo Olympic hopeful Ernest John Obiena a sense of a direction.
This also gave him an idea on how he would approach the men's pole vault meet in the International Association of Athletic Federation Diamond League in Monaco on Friday in Monaco.
“Training without competition, without any direction is really hard. We don't know what we're training for,” said the 24-year-old Obiena in a podcast after the meet.
With his silver-medal finish in the Trieste, Italy meet, the 6'2" Obiena said this has given him confidence going into his third stint in the Diamond League.
“After a lot of cancellations, I asked myself what I was doing here (Italy). And so it (Trieste) was a good taste of competition, definitely,” added Obiena, who will now try to improve on his 5.45-meter performance in Trieste when he plunges into action in Monaco.
The world no. 16th-ranked Obiena will be meeting the world’s best there.
His opponents are the same ones who he expects to meet again in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
The eight-man field in Monaco that includes world no. 1 and record holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden and Rio Olympic champion and training partner Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil.
Then, there's world champion Sam Kendricks of the United States, world no. 10 Valentin Lavillenie of France, world no.12 Ben Broeders of Belgium, world no. 15 Claudio Michel Stecchi of Italy and Thibaut Collet of France.
Strict health protocols will be observed during competition, since Europe is adjusting and observing safety protocols that are meant to keep athletes, coaches, officials, technical officials and the public safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mas strikto at maraming processo pero nararapat lang para sa kaligtasan ng mga manlalaro at coaches,” said EJ's mom Jeannette following a long distance conversation with his son.
To get EJ more focused, Jeannette said he and the family met online with him to watch comedy shows and got him to relax before the meet.
"Sa panahon na ito mas mahalaga ang relaxed siya at maayos ang makapahinga,” added Jeannette.
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