May 27, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

Cordilleran athlete Hussein Loraña raised the country’s flag, as he snagged a gold medal in the men’s 800 meters in the 2024 Hong Kong Athletics Championships at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground on May 4 and 5.

Two-time Philippine junior record holder Loraña recorded a time of one minute and 52.11 seconds, overtaking six other competitors with American Sean Fontaine bagging the silver medal at 1:53.11 and Hong Kong’s Mohammad Kamran settling for bronze at 1:53.60. 

BAGUIO ATHLETICS PRIDE — Baguio boy Hussein Loraña raised the country’s flag as he snagged a gold medal in the men’s 800 meters in the 2024 Hong Kong Athletics Championships at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground on May 4 and 5. The two-time Philippine junior record holder Loraña recorded a time of one minute and 52.11 seconds, overtaking six other competitors with American Sean Fontaine bagging the silver medal with 1:53.11 and Hong Kong’s Mohammad Kamran with 1:53.60 settling for the bronze medal. — PSC photo

The 19-year-old Loraña holds the 400-m. national junior record with a time of 47.98 seconds and the 800-m. national junior record of one minute and 49.85 seconds as recorded by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.

He shattered the national junior 800-m. record previously held by then PH junior athlete now coach Felizardo Sardenia during the Taipei Open in Changhua City, Taiwan on May 28, 1989.  

The rising star is a product of Apolinario Mabini Elementary School and had a short stay at the University of Baguio High School.

He  is trained by his coach and father, Bonifacio Loraña, who was also an athletics national team member.

Loraña started to gain medals in the Palarong Pambansa and Batang Pinoy from 2015 to 2019. 

The Grade 12 student is currently taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Adamson University Manila where he is also becoming an asset for its athletics varsity team.

Other gold me-dalists from the Philippine team during the Hong Kong competition were Tokyo Olympian Kristina Knott in the women’s 100 meters and Lauren Hoffman in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

Teammates Robyn Brown finished se-cond to Hoffman to get the silver medal while Janry Ubas got the bronze in the men’s long jump during the event which offered Paris Olympics 2024 qualifying points.