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World no.3 pole vaulter auctions off winning shoes for Philippine kids

Publicado: 10/05/2023

Phnom Penh (AFP) -

Pole vault star Ernest John Obiena will auction off his gold-medal-winning spikes to raise money for children back home in the Philippines who practise in a sawdust pit.

World-ranked number three Obiena took his third consecutive gold at the Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh on Monday.

Clearing 5.65m, he broke his own Games record.

Afterwards, the Paris Olympics-bound 27-year-old told reporters he had seen a video of a child pole vaulter in the Philippines using sawdust to land in.

'Anyone who's listening: it's up for grabs,' he said, brandishing the pink-and-orange sports shoes.

'All money, all proceeds, will go to buying a new pole vault pit or a second-hand pole vault pit,' he added.

'If we can't get actual size then we'll get something -- just not sawdust.'

The shoes could well increase in value over the next year or so, with Obiena in strong contention for a podium finish at Paris 2024.