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Injured Obiena, Unso out of Philippines athletics team

Gerry Carpio - The Philippine Star
Injured Obiena, Unso out of Philippines athletics team

Ernest John Obiena

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Cheers of victory turned to fears of a debacle when athletics chief Philip Ella Juico broke the news that gold medal potential Ernest John Obiena hurt his left knee in training in Manila on the eve of his departure for the Southeast Asian Games.

The other sad news was that Patrick Unso, a 110m hurdles specialist who is a vital cog of the 4x100m relay team, also a potential gold medalist, had aggravated his hamstring injury in training and was dropped out of the team.

Right after Mary Joy Tabal received her gold medal in the awarding ceremonies, Juico said Obiena hurt his knee in a wrong landing position in his final workout two days ago and was ruled out to compete in the SEA Games with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Juico said Obiena, who was to compete in the pole vault where he owns the SEAG best personal record of 5.61 meters, a potential gold-medal winner here, may need either a surgery or rehab depending on the extent of the injury, but definitely he is not coming to the SEA Games.

Juico said Obiena’s foot landed on the edge of the mat, putting a strain on his left knee.

Doctors are still evaluating whether the injury will require rehab or surgery.

Juico also told Philippine media during a brief press conference at the Philippine team’s tent at the finish line of the marathon competitions that Unso also aggravated a recurring hamstring injury and is ruled out to compete.

“We win some, we lose some,” said Juico. “That’s our way of life.”

“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 in going into training until the unfortunate thing happened,” said Juico.

Obiena’s mother Jeanette who served as a technical official for athletics in Putra Jaya yesterday, received the sad news from Juico.

”EJ was asking (Ultra personel) to adjust the landing mat because it was a bit far off its proper position but it wasn’t put in place because it was soaked by the rain. Medyo malayo kasi ang dila ng mat but he still tried to do the pole vault. When he made the attempt, hindi maganda ang landing niya, tapos hindi tumama ang kaliwang paa niya sa mat at dumiretso sa lupa (his landing was not perfect and his left foot  failed to hit the mat and landed straight on the soil), ” said his mother.

The 21-year old Obiena, from the University of Santo Tomas, was rushed to the hospital where doctors said he needs at least four months to recover.

Juico said Unso’s pulled hamstring is a recurring injury which he aggravated when he competed in the Indian Championships in July.

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