Baguio boy Hussein Loraña broke his own record in the Philippine junior 400-meter event twice in a month with a new record of 47.99 seconds during the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa) weekly relays on Sept. 9.
With a previous record of 48.70 seconds during the weekly relay on Aug. 13, Loraña performed the feat when he competed in the open division where he placed third.
Fellow national team members Michael del Prado and Joyme Sequita placed first and second at 47.49 and at 47.95 respectively, during the ninth weekly relay.
Loraña, 18, said he did not expect to break his own record due to some personal challenges during his preparation.
The grade 12 student taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, recently transferred to Adamson University under its sports scholarship.
He is a product of Apolinario Mabini Elementary School and the University of Baguio High School.
Trained by his coach and father, Bonifacio, who was also an athletics national team member, the young athlete started to gain medals in the Palarong Pambansa and Batang Pinoy from 2015 to 2019.
By 2022, he gained gold in the National Invitational Sports Competition and in June this year, he ranked sixth in Asia in the Asian Junior Athletics Championship held in Yecheon, Korea.
He also showed a record-breaking performance at the Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) Zamboanga City Meet in July when he broke the 800-meter collegiate record with one minute and 53.7 seconds.
The previous record holder was Nelbert Ducusin of Far Eastern University with one minute and 54.1 seconds during the 2008 Prisaa which was also held in Zamboanga City.
With his prowess, opportunities started pouring in, and he was offered with various scholarships by prestigious schools in the country and even international schools as far as Budapest Hungary, Singapore, and the United States.
He thanked his coaches, family and friends for being his source of encouragement and inspiration to continue achieving greater goals. His older brother, Yussef, whom he looks up to, is also an athlete. – Ofelia C. Empian