Marriane Jovileen Solante
September 30, 2022
Alexandra Eala, a 17-year-old Filipina tennis player became the Philippines’ first-ever Grand Slam junior champion in the US Open Juniors. She won over World No. 3 Lucie Havlickovah of the Czech Republic at 6-2, 6-4 in the grand final.
“I’ve had a lot of situations where I’m down so I believed in myself and I trusted and knew I could do it,” she said during an interview with ABS-CBN in New York.
During her battle with Lucie Havlickovah, Lucie managed to lead with a 4-3 score. However, Eala managed to control the game in her favor for the next three games even under great pressure. Her last battle ended with a 40-15 against Lucie. She defeated Canada’s Victoria Mboko 6-1, 7-6 in the semifinals which resulted in her going to the finals.
“Buong puso ko tong ipinaglaban, hindi lang para sa sarili ko kundi para makatulong din ako sa kinabukasan ng Philippine tennis,” she said during the trophy presentation. “Hindi lang to panalo ko, panalo natin to,” she added.
Her recent game at Templeton Tennis Ranch in California against Israel’s Shavit Kimchi resulted in a 6-0, 6-0 during the first round.
Alex Eala is currently ranked 291 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She has two professional titles on the International Tennis Federation Tour which are the 2021 W15 Manacor in Spain and the 2022 W25 Chiang Rai in Thailand.
Earlier this month as well, Philippines’ pole vaulter EJ Obiena struck gold after clearing 5.71 meters of the Golden Fly Series on September 11, 2022. On the next day, he won another gold at Gala dei Castelli in Switzerland. He topped the record at 5.81 meters on his second jump. The second best was by the United States Chris Nilsen topped at 5.71 meters.
He had also won against world champion Armand Duplantis in the Brussels Diamond League in Belgium on September 2, 2022. This was Duplantis’ first loss in a year. Both had two fouls at 5.91 but Obiena managed to clear it on his third try at 5.94m.
He also won gold on the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting, True Athletes Classics, and St. Wendels Jump in Germany.
His alma mater,Chiang Kai Shek College (CKSC) will provide support to the athlete
“all the way to the Paris Olympics (2024),” Jude Yap, the CKSC president announced. “He is our treasure,”
EJ is a track and field athlete in CKSC and many of his coaches were proud of his achievements and because of that, they don’t have to invite as many students as before as they [students] are willing to try out on their own. CKSC is a school known for basketball. Diana Sy, EJ’s coach, said that due to his success has made school officials and students, “… to look at sports outside of basketball.”
During Obiena’s visit to his old school, the University of Sto. Tomas, he gave a piece of advice for the young athletes.
“Really, right now, just enjoy. Enjoy the ride.”
He also offered some help and guidance to aspiring athletes who needed it.