■ Ofelia C. Empian
After 34 years, Baguio boy Hussein Loraña broke the 800-meter Philippine National Junior record in one minute and 49.85 seconds during the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association weekly relays on Oct. 1.
Loraña, who is part of the national team, has broken the previous record of one minute and 50.04 seconds set by then PH junior athlete now coach Felizardo Sardenia during the Taipei Open in Changhua City, Taiwan on May 28, 1989.
“I’m grateful to everybody that has supported me and believes in me especially to my family, friends, teammates, and coaches,” Loraña said.
The grade 12 student taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Adamson University currently holds the Philippine junior record of 47.99 seconds in the 400-m. He broke his own record of 48.70 seconds in the 400-m during the Aug. 13 Weekly Relay.
He is a product of Apolinario Mabini Elementary School and 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 meet in Zamboanga City last July when he broke the 800-m. collegiate record with one minute and 53.7 seconds.