EJ Obiena (right) with Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino — POC

WORLD pole vault No. 3 EJ Obiena and his team are trying to figure out the factors that kept impeding his bid to breach the six-meter plateau and achieve more sporting glory.

They have concluded his speed in the approach as culprit.

“We’re looking to adding more scientific equipment to maximize my potential,” said Mr. Obiena during yesterday’s briefer at the Aristocrat in Malate, Manila.

The World Championship bronze medalist from the Philippines was referring to a laser measuring alum stick, a 59-inch tall device used by high jumpers and pole-vaulters measure speed.

“We already pre-ordered it to check my speed drop coming down the runway because we actually learned I’m keeping my speed not on the most important point, the takeoff, so I’ll be able to achieve that just by the naked eye,” said the Asian record-holder.

Mr. Obiena said they have long desired to acquire the expensive device, which has a current market prize of around $1,000 to $2,000 (P65,000 to P130,000), for three years now but it is only now that he’s gotten the money to purchase it.

“Vitaly (Petrov) wanted that two to three years ago but it’s just now that I’m able to afford it,” said Mr. Obiena. “Hopefully we’ll get it soon, get it set up and be able to maximize my speed in the runway, that’s my goal.”

“I’m trying to pull my money with my private sponsors, hopefully they (Philippine Sports Commission) will reimburse it,” he added.

With a promised full backing from PSC chair Noli Eala, anything Mr. Obiena wants, he gets. — Joey Villar