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EJ OBIENA LAUDED FOR ORLEN CUP 2022 WIN IN POLAND

The Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) PBA Party-list lauded pole vault star EJ Obiena as he dominated the Orlen Cup in Poland on Saturday, marking his first victory of the year.

Obiena cleared a season-best 5.81 meters on his first try to win the tournament after previously coming off an eighth-place finish at the Beijer Stavhoppsgala Uppsala in Sweden. He had earlier finished fourth in Berlin, his first competition for the year.

Nograles previously said that instead of expelling Obiena, the PATAFA should extend him the necessary assistance for him to finish and submit his liquidation report at the soonest possible time.

“We are happy that despite all that has been going on behind the scenes, EJ’s focus has been undeterred. We congratulate him on his win and look forward to more success,” PBA Party-list spokesperson Atty. Migs Nograles said.

Obiena has been locked in a word war with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) since November last year over allegations of unaccounted funds.

Nograles also called on the PATAFA to reinstate Obiena to the Philippine team. The sporting body dropped the Tokyo Olympian from the national team roster team following the results of its investigation on the Olympian over alleged falsified liquidation documents and late payments to his coach.

“Talent like EJ’s is rare so let’s not waste it. It’s such a shame that the PATAFA had one decision after another over their issue with EJ. The boy has so much potential; imagine what he can accomplish if he is given the support he needs and deserves,” the Davaoeña lawyer said.

Obiena currently holds the Asian record for men’s pole vault after breaking the long-standing 5.92m record in Asia held by Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan since 1992.

Nograles previously said that instead of expelling Obiena, the PATAFA should extend him the necessary assistance for him to finish and submit his liquidation report at the soonest possible time.

The PATAFA is claiming that Obiena “falsified the liquidations submitted” to the federation concerning the payments for his coach Vitaly Petrov and ordered the Olympian to return €85,000 or some P4.8 million back to the association.

Obiena currently holds the Asian record for men’s pole vault after breaking the long-standing 5.92m record in Asia held by Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan since 1992. The Filipino cleared 5.93 meters in the 17th Golden Roof Challenge in Austria in September last year.

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