Last Updated on July 9, 2023 by Andrew Pirie
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Fidel Gallenero : The Original Iron Man
It has been a while, but we have now chosen another worthy addition to our Legends of Track and Field from not so long ago.
Known as Toto to his friends, the ever-smiling Gallenero served as a humble and perfect role model to many athletes as an athlete himself and later as a coach.
Fidel Gallenero was born on 30th April 1973.
He came from the humblest of towns in the province of Capiz.
It was not an easy life for Gallenero as he did not come from a well-off family.
He had to cross a couple of rivers and hills to get to school.
Rowing to Athletics
He did not put that much effort into his education and later regretted he didn’t finish college. But later, as a coach enforced the importance of education on his athletes. Fidel did not start in Athletics; he was in his 20s when he moved into Athletics.
Fidel Gallenero began off in the National Rowing team. But was soon persuaded by veteran national coach Dario De Rosas to try out for athletics. Fidel Gallenero would become a durable mainstay of the national team from the late 90s to the early 00s.
For some reason, he started to attend track and field practice with the guys in Rizal Memorial. “Saling-pusa lang ako,” (I just tagged along) was how he described himself. “Hindi ako nahihiya, sinubukan ko lahat ng events. Laban lang!”
He has experienced the most primitive of coaches and training approaches throughout his tenure in the sport; hence, he felt rancour against such coaches he encountered in his later, more athletically prestigious years.
He considered Coach Dario de Rosas as a definitive influence in terms of proper scientific training.
For his part, Gallenero has undergone a few IAAF-accredited seminars to further his track & field know-how. More importantly, the years that he has spent as an international-class competitor are priceless.
Toto vs. David
Representing the Philippine Navy, Gallenero first came into the limelight by beating the then National Record Holder, the celebrity athlete David Bunevacz, at the 1997 National Open in Manila. His first SEA Games medals were two bronzes in the 1999 Brunei edition, one in the Decathlon and the other in the 4x400m relay. In 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, he emerged the sole victor in the gruelling, 2-day event. In 2003, he won the bronze in the same event again; a basketball injury sustained, ruining his chances for a back-to-back gold.
On the 18th of May 2001, at the National Open, Gallenero set a then National Record of 6963 points.
Perhaps the highlight of his long career was the 2001 SEA Games Gold in the Decathlon with 6958 points.
Gallenero failed to retain his SEA Games title in 2003. And as stipulated in PATAFA’s arrangement, he was removed from the national team.
After coach stints at San Beda, DLSU Dasmarinas, and Ateneo, Gallenero took up an offer to become one of Brunei’s National Coaches shortly after graduating from Athletics.
- 100m 10.4 HT Manila (PHI) 04.05.00
- 200m 21.6 HT Manila (PHI) 07.11.99
- 110H 15.0 Manila (PHI) 23.10.99
- 110H 15.40 1.4 Manila (PHI) 02.05.02
|Long Jump||7.13m||Manila (PHI)||22.09.2003|
|Shot Put||11.63m||BS Begawan||17.05.2001|
- Pole Vault 4.40m Kuala Lumpur 18.05.01
- Discus 34.80m B.S. Begawan 09.08.99
- Javelin 56.00m Manila 23.05.95
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“In 2020, Andrew advanced to the position of Vice President with the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, having devoted seven years as an active member. His impressive track record includes roles such as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant (2013-2015) and a distinguished stint as a Sprint Coach and Consultant at the renowned Zamboanga Sports Academy (2015-2017). Today, he offers his expertise as a Consultant Coach with VMUF, starting from 2021.
A recognized voice in the sports community, Andrew is the Chief Editor of Pinoyathletics.info. Additionally, his consultancy contributions to Ayala Corp in evaluating their Track and Field Program underline his deep domain knowledge.
Proficient in coaching sprints, middle-distance races, and jump events, Andrew boasts a Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification, specializing in Sprints and Hurdles. He is also on a progressive journey towards obtaining a Masters Degree in Education.