Filipino pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena advanced to the final round of the men’s event in the Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing among the top 12 in qualification action at the Olympic Stadium, Saturday.
Mr. Obiena, 25, cleared 5.75 meters in Group A of the qualifying event, finishing in fifth place and 10th overall.
He did it in his third and final attempt after fouling in his first two tries.
Mr. Obiena also cleared 5.5m and 5.65m in the qualifiers.
“Thank you for all your prayers, after some nerve wracking moments, I made it to the finals… Thank you Lord for listening to our prayers,” he wrote in a Facebook post after advancing to the medal round.
The finals will be held on Aug. 3.
He will be up against the likes of world number one Armand Duplantis of Sweden, Piotr Lisek of Poland (#3), Renaud Lavillenie of France (#4) and Christopher Nilsen of the United States (#5), who all cleared in 5.75m in the qualification round.
Mr. Obiena is currently the world number six-ranked pole vaulter and the first Filipino to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo