MANILA — Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena has officially become the first Filipino to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics following his performance in a tournament in Italy.

Obiena cleared 5.81 meters in the Men’s Pole Vault competition of Salto Con L’asta In Piazza Chiari 2019, surpassing the the 5.80-meter qualifying standard, according to Philippine News Agency.

This meant it was good enough to merit him a trip to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics.

Although Obiena came short of breaking the 5.90-meter Asian record, he was able to surpass the Philippine record of 5.76 meters he set during the 2019 Summer Universiade also in Italy last July.

The 6-foot-1 Obiena is the son of former pole vault great Emerson Obiena.

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