(File photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday extended congratulations to Filipino athletes Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and Vanessa Sarno for triumphs in their respective sporting events.

Obiena, a pole vaulter, made history on Monday (Manila time) after capturing a bronze medal in the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Meanwhile, Sarno, a weightlifter, on Friday (Manila time) bagged three gold medals in the women’s junior -71kg category in the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“Malugod naming binabati sina Ernest John “EJ” Obiena at Vanessa Sarno sa tagumpay at karangalang nakamit nila para sa ating bayan (We extend our warmest congratulations to Ernest John ‘EJ’ Obiena and Vanessa Sarno for the success and honor they achieved for our people),” he said in post in his official Facebook page.

Marcos also vowed to continue support for the country’s struggling athletes.

“Ipinagmamalaki natin ang husay at tapang na inyong ipinamalas na tiyak na magsisilbing inspirasyon para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Makakaasa kayo sa patuloy at ibayong suporta (We are proud of the skill and courage you displayed that will surely serve as an inspiration for all Filipinos. You can count on continued support),” he added.

Obiena is the first Filipino to make it to the podium of World Athletics Championships while Sarno added another crown to her collection after ruling the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam where she won in the same category with a record 239kg.

Sarno, 18, is considered the heir apparent to 31-year-old Tokyo Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz.

Last week, Marcos vowed to step up government support for national athletes in honing their potentials as he congratulated the Philippine Women’s National Football team Filipinas after bagging the country’s first Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Football championship at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on July 17.

On July 20, he met the Filipino football team in a courtesy call in Malacañan Palace and emphasized the need to “do better” in terms of government support when it comes to the country’s athletes. (PNA)