Injury bug bites PHI athletics squad
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 19, 2017 03:43 PM
On the same day Mary Joy Tabal captured the women's marathon gold medal, Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) Philip Ella Juico revealed the injury suffered by gold-medal prospects Ernest John Obiena and Patrick John Unso.
KUALA LUMPUR – The Philippine athletics team suffered a major blow when gold-medal prospects Ernest John Obiena and Patrick John Unso crashed with injuries few days before competing in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here.
The European-trained Obiena suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on his left knee while Patrick Unso had a recurring hamstring injury that makes it hard for him to compete.
Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (Patafa) Philip Ella Juico admitted that the development is a major setback, but they have to move on and pin their hopes on other athletes who are ready to surpass the federation’s five gold medals in the previous SEA Games in Singapore.
“We win some, we lose some; that’s the way of life,” said Juico shortly after marathoner Mary Joy Tabal clinched the country’s first SEA Games gold.
“We are all saddened by the bad news, but we have to live with it. It’s just that the kid (Obiena) really wanted to win and is so determined to bring honor to the country.”
Obiena, one of the country’s brightest bets in the pole vault event, suffered the injury while training at Philsports in Pasig City Friday night.
He was supposed to fly to this bustling Malaysian capital Saturday, but instead went to his doctor to examine the extent of his injury and schedule his operation.
“Initial findings were torn ACL,” he said on his personal website. “I am very sorry to everybody. I had the injury while doing my final preparation for the SEA Games.”
Obiena, a third-year Electronics and Communications Engineering student at UST, is a shoo-in for the SEA Games gold after posting a national record of 5.61 meters in the Stabhocksprung Classics in Leverkusen, Germany. Prior to that, he trained under the watchful eyes of Olympics gold medalist Vitaly Petrov of Ukraine in Italy.
He is looking for his first SEA Games gold after Porranot Purahong tallied 5.30 meters to capture the mint in the Singapore SEA Games in 2015.
“I’m really upset and I don’t know how to express it,” he said. “I need to bounce back right away and hopefully recover as soon as possible.”
On the other hand, Unso had to forego his chances in the relay and hurdles events after sustaining a pulled hamstring.
“Patrick complained of pain,” said Juico. “Matagal na nya injury yun pero pabalik-balik. Tapos nakaramdam sya ng grabeng sakit sa training so hindi na namin pinilit at baka ano pang mangyari.”