Clark ideal for ‘pole’ event venue

New Clark City (Photo from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority website)

CAPAS, Tarlac — The tried and tested facility at New Clark City could be the perfect venue to play host to a high-caliber pole vault tournament being proposed by Filipino world No. 3 EJ Obiena.

This is the belief of the leadership of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as it pitched the Athletics Stadium as site for the event that will feature not just Obiena but the creme dela creme of pole vault next year.

BCDA senior vice president for corporate services group Arrey Perez told Daily Tribune that aside from the world-class facilities the venue is known for, it would also give the 26-year-old pole vaulter much-needed home advantage.

“For us, EJ is very familiar with the facility during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. He got the gold medal here,” Perez said.

“I’m hopeful that if there is any facility that he would sell to anyone that will become the venue of that event, I think it would be at New Clark City.”

It was right there where Obiena set a Southeast Asian Games mark of 5.45 meters during the 2019 SEA Games.

Obiena would reset that mark in the Hanoi SEA Games last May where he did 5.46, which is a far cry from his personal-best 5.94 that he set in Europe several weeks ago.

Obiena has proposed staging a pole vault contest to the Philippine Olympic Committee, whose president, Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino, wants held at the Picnic Grove, a leisure park that will have the Taal Volcano as backdrop.

If it happens, Obiena will compete alongside world record holder Armand Duplantis, world No. 2. Chris Nilsen and Rio Olympics champion and training partner Thiago Braz.

The event will also serve as one of the tuneups in line with Obiena’s quest for gold in the 2024 Paris Olympics.


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