MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday hailed pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena for winning at the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting in Jockrim, Germany.
“Isang maligayang pagbati para sa ating atleta na si EJ Obiena sa kanyang pagkapanalo ng gintong medalya (Congratulations to our athlete, EJ Obiena, for winning the gold medal),” Marcos said in a Facebook post.
“Ang pinakitang gilas ni EJ sa larangan ng pole vault ay isang katangiang maaaring tularan ng mga kabataang nangangarap na maging isang atleta (EJ's performance in pole vault is worthy of emulation by Filipino youths aspiring to be an athlete).”
Obiena promptly acknowledged the President’s post, also on Facebook.
“Maraming salamat po, President Bongbong Marcos, for the congratulatory message and recognition. I hope I did the country proud,” he wrote.
Obiena on Wednesday beat 10 other competitors, including Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the United States, after clearing 5.81 meters.
The golden performance allowed Obiena to reach the qualifying standard for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The 26-year-old Obiena then placed third with a 5.80-m leap at the Athletissima in Laussane, Switzerland on Thursday (Friday, Philippine time) behind Armand Duplantis of Sweden (6.10m) and Nilsen, who also had a 5.80 but placed second after a countback.
In July, he clinched a bronze at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA, also yielding to Duplantis and Nilsen, and climbed to No. 3 in the world rankings.
Meet with outgoing Brunei envoy
Meanwhile, Marcos on Friday received outgoing Brunei Ambassador to the Philippines Hajah Johariah binti Haji Abdul Wahab who paid a farewell call at Malacañang Palace in Manila.
“It was a pleasure to meet H.E. Hajah Johariah binti Haji Abdul Wahab, the outgoing Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the Philippines,” he said.
Marcos thanked the outgoing diplomat for her contribution to strengthening the ties between Brunei and the Philippines.
“We are grateful for her contribution to strengthening Brunei Darussalam's excellent relationship with the Philippines. We bid her farewell and wish her safe travels,” he said.
Marcos also shared photos of him and the outgoing Brunei ambassador. (PNA)