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PSC rewards EJ Obiena for new PH record, has para athletes covered

EJ Obiena Paris Diamond League

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EJ Obiena Paris Diamond League

The Philippines’ Ernest John Obiena, who came second, competes in the men’s pole vault event during the IAAF Diamond League athletics meet at the Charlety Stadium in Paris on August 28, 2021. (Photo by Lucas BARIOULET / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines–The Philippine Sports Commission is still in “Olympic mode” in giving away assistance and rewards to national athletes.

Its board recently approved the P250,000 cash incentive for Olympian pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena for setting a new Philippine record in an event played after the Tokyo Games.

On Thursday, PSC chair Butch Ramirez said they are closely monitoring the three para athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 who were supposed to see action in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

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Ramirez said are ready to provide help to the athletes and coaches afflicted with the coronavirus, specifically with logistics when they repatriate and go into quarantine.

“We are closely monitoring them,” said Ramirez who added that most likely they will be transferred to their own local government units.

Among them are Jeanette Acevedo, who was to compete in visual impaired throwing events, and her coach Bernard Buen. Before her, powerlifter Achelle Guion also had to withdraw after testing positive.

Another athlete, taekwondo’s Allain Ganapin has also quit because of a positive test, further decimating the six-man Philippine Team in the Games.

“We continue to recognize the sacrifices and achievements of the Filipino athletes and will be generous to reward them,” said PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez.

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Obiena reset his own PH mark of 5.87 meters when he cleared 5.91m during the Paris Diamond League to capture the silver medal.

The Filipino Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games champion is set to compete this weekend in the penultimate stage of the Diamond League, the Allianz Memorial Van Damme in Brussels.

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