After recovering from COVID-19, EJ Obiena showed up at the Taby Stavhoppsgala in Sweden pole vault event ready to make up for what he had missed out on.
When we interviewed EJ in May, he told us that he had not yet caught the virus. But just over two weeks ago, he tested positive and was quarantined in Formia, Italy.
As a result of his quarantine, he missed out on two major tournaments: the Bislett Games in Norway and the Meeting De Paris in France. Yet, in spite of missing out on key performances, EJ showed up to his event in Sweden strong as ever—arguably even his strongest for the season.
The Taby Stavhoppsgala
While the name of the tournament is a bit of a tongue twister, EJ Obiena’s result is not: Gold.
The 2016 Rio Olympics pole vault gold-medalist Thiago Braz kept hold of pole position when he cleared 5.82 meters in one go. However, EJ was able to go a step above, clearing 5.92 meters on his second attempt. This was his personal best for the season, just a centimeter off his Asian record set last year.
Braz was unable to clear the height, forcing him to settle for second to the Filipino pole vaulting sensation. EJ came home adding yet another gold medal to his vast collection.
After coming off of a high in May with a SEA Games gold medal and the new tournament record, EJ Obiena had the momentum. But even after missing two major events and contracting a virus known to take hits to the body, he won the gold medal in Sweden as though no time was ever wasted.
While he isn’t invincible, he definitely showed us how to recover like a champion.