Ernest John “EJ” Obiena's name is not included on the pool list by Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) which is set to play for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May.

/ 9 March 2022

It was the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) who tasked the national sports association (NSA) to submit their entries that are set to play for the SEA Games happening from May 12 to 23. 

But the entry on the NSA list submitted to the POC without Obiena’s name pushed President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino to only do so much—regret.

“I can only shake my head, this is horrible,” he said.

President Tolentino averred that Obiena’s exclusion from the list is a push-button for a missed gold medal.

“Barring serious injury, EJ will win the gold medal even blindfolded in Hanoi. He’s not only the best in the SEA Games, but in the whole of Asia—not to forget that he’s No. 5 in the world,” Tolentino explained.

Obiena not being on the list also means a missed competition for the World Indoor Championships scheduled from March 18 to 20 in Belgrade.

“An NSA relentlessly sanctioning its No. 1 athlete—a guaranteed win and who knows a future world and Olympic champion – I just couldn’t find [the] logic,” Tolentino pointed out.