SENATOR Christopher 'Bong' Go on Monday congratulated pole vaulter Ernest John 'EJ' Obiena on his record-breaking success at the men's pole vault competition in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on Saturday, May 15.

/ 16 May 2022

“I would like to congratulate EJ Obiena for bagging the gold medal at the men’s pole vault competition in the Hanoi SEA Games,” said Go. 

Saludo po ang buong bansa sa iyong tagumpay,” he added.

In a video message from Obiena, the athlete expressed his gratitude to the senator for supporting Filipino athletes.

“Senator Bong Go, maraming salamat po sa inyong pagsuporta sa mga atleta. Thank you very much po. This is for the Philippines. It wouldn’t be possible without you po,” the national pole vaulter said. 

Go responded by emphasizing that it is his duty as a senator, sports advocate and Filipino to support athletes in any way he can, saying “huwag kayong magpasalamat sa amin kasi ginagawa lang namin ang aming mga trabaho. Kami dapat ang magpasalamat dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataong makatulong gawing sports powerhouse ng Asya ulit ang Pilipinas.

Salamat sa iyo at sa lahat ng mga atleta natin sa SEA Games Vietnam sa inyong mga pagsisikap na mabigyan ng karangalan ang ating bansa. Ang inyong mga panalo ay nagbibigay ng pag-asa at inspirasyon sa ating mga kababayang patuloy na nilalampasan ang pandemya at iba pang mga hamon sa katatagan ng ating pagka-Pilipino,” Go added. 

Obiena watched all of his competitors complete their desired heights before attempting the 5.40 meters. 

He simply had to make one leap to win gold and set a new pole vault record in the SEA Games. 

After speaking with his coach, Obiena went for another one-shot try and cleared 5.46m with enough room to spare, breaking his own SEA Games record of 5.45m.

The senator then emphasized the need for Filipino unity and full support, particularly in sports, where the country’s glory and honor are on the line.

Sa panahong karangalan ng ating bansa ang nakasalalay, pinakamahalaga ay ang pagkakaisa natin at buong suporta ng sambayanang Pilipino upang muling maiwagayway ang bandila ng Pilipinas sa mga pandaigdigang kompetisyon,” Go previously stressed.

The senator also commended other Filipino athletes who have clinched medals for the country.

“Let your achievements motivate the future generation of Filipinos to strive hard so that they can also make our nation proud one day,” he said.