Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

32nd SEA Games

EJ Obiena, Kristina Knott plunge into action as Team PH looks to surpass Hanoi haul

The big guns of athletics led by Olympians EJ Obiena and Kristina Knott will go into action on Monday at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh with the goal of surpassing the team’s medal haul in the last edition of the biennial meet.

Team Philippines hopes to eclipse its five-gold, seven-silver, and 14-bronze haul in athletics during the Hanoi games. They will be led by world no. 3 pole vaulter Obiena, who, according to the news wire service Agence France-Presse, is “perhaps the biggest favorite in any athletics event at these games.”

Obiena, who will shoot for another stint in the Olympics (Paris 2024) when the qualifying window opens in July, has a personal best of 5.94 meters. However, he doesn’t have to leap that high in these games, where the SEA Games record only stands at just 5.46, which Obiena also owns.

“He’s in good spirits kahit pagod sa biyahe,” said Obiena’s father and coach Emerson, referring to his son’s 22-hour total journey from Italy. “Katulad nga ng sinabi niya, pupunta siya dito para ‘jump to win.’”

The 27-year-old Tokyo Olympian will be shooting for a third straight pole vault gold at 4:05 p.m. (5:05 in Manila) and maybe go for the record. But this will all be based on what kind of rhythm Obiena will have on Monday.

“Tignan muna natin kung ano ang magiging position niya, and then we will take it from there,” the older Obiena added.

All eyes will also be on the team’s other athletic stars Knott and the reigning fastest woman in Southeast Asia – Kayla Richardson.

#ReadMore  SEA Games: Abdilla-Buytrago, Garcia-Requinton drop to bronze match

For one, the 27-year-old Knott has been aching for competition in these games. After becoming the darling of athletics during the 2019 edition of the games in the Philippines, where she bagged two golds (200 and 4×100 mixed relay), including a new games record in the 200, Knott missed the Hanoi games when she tore her left plantar fasciitis.

“To win, that is the goal,” said Knott, who will try to regain the 200m title, where her teammate Richardson is also entered. Heats begin at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. in Manila).

Richardson, 25, tries to keep the 100m crown she regained in Vietnam on Friday.

Also hoping to land medals for Team Pilipinas on Monday are Janry Ubas and Aries Toledo (decathlon), Umajesty Williams (men’s 200m), Aira Teodosio (women’s hammer throw), Elijah Cole (pole vault), Melvin Calano and John Paul Sarmiento (men’s javelin throw), Edwin Giron and Alfrence Braza (men’s 1,500), Joida Gagnao and Abiegail Manzano (women’s 5,000).

Written By

You May Also Like


EJ Obiena leapt to greater heights in 2023. Over 12 months, the 28-year-old Tondo-born pole vaulter amassed impressive credentials. His highlights were, of course,...

Bandwagon Wire

For EJ Obiena, 2023 has come full circle. The season started on a rousing note in France and will end with a ticket to...

Bandwagon Wire

The year 2023 will be remembered as one of the most successful periods for Philippine esports in the competitive scene. And no, it isn’t...


Leonard Grospe set a new national record, while the prolific Quendy Fernandez capped her campaign with a sixth gold medal in swimming yesterday, with...


In the world of pole vaulting, EJ Obiena stands on the precipice of greatness. With his eyes set on the 2024 Paris Olympics and...

19th Asian Games

It has been a ‘fruitful’ week for EJ Obiena. In his homecoming after a record-breaking leap in the 19th Asian Games, the 27-year-old, world-ranked...

19th Asian Games

Team Pilipinas finished in 17th place in the 2022 Asian Games. Although they brought home fewer medals compared to the 2018 continental meet (4...

19th Asian Games

Obiena received a significant boost during his recently concluded Asian Games campaign from an unexpected source. Despite initially expecting the opposite reaction from the...