■ Ofelia C. Empian
Baguio boy Hussein Loraña is one of the 60 sports luminaries awarded during the third Siklab Youth Sports Awards held in Taguig City on Dec. 4.
Loraña was awarded as one of the Siklab Youth Sports Awards’ Burlington Super Kids for his excellence in athletics along with ice hockey’s Kimberly Athena Sze, Joseph Anthony Godbout of modern pentathlon, muay’s Jan Brix Ramiscal, Trisha Mae Del Rosario in obstacle sports, and volleyball’s Khylem Progella.
The event, organized by the Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Olympic Committee Media Group, recognized outstanding athletes aged 18 years old and below. The first two editions were held in 2018 and 2019.
Loraña came into further prominence as he was recently hailed the most valuable player during the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 for leading the Adamson University Baby Falcons to win the back-to-back championship in the High School Boys’ athletics.
He garnered six gold and one bronze medal in the athle-tics, also setting four new UAAP records during his debut in the country’s oldest collegiate league slated at the Ultra Sports Center Pasig City on Nov. 22 to 26.
The 18-year-old’s new records include 49.12 seconds in the boys’ 400 meters, breaking University of the Philippines Integrated School’s Jaime Mejia’s record, who posted 49.46 in Season 76.
Another record was achieved when he joined Athena Rose Besana, Juvelle Alexa Matnog, and John Dave Tuma-ngan where they garnered a 3:50.21 record in the High School mixed relay.
“Salamat sa Panginoon. Maraming sakit, pawis, at paghihirap bago makamit ito. I’ve learned that anything in life that is worth having comes from patience and hard work,” said Loraña, a product of Apolinario Mabini Elementary School.