Article by Andrew Pirie
Francis Obiena Top 8 at Asian Youth Athletics
SEA Youth Champion & Palaro Record Holder Francis Obiena, 17, Finished inside the Top 8 on the first day of competition at the Asian Youth Championships. Furthermore, Obiena comes from a strong family of vaulters, including National Record Holder & SEA Games silver medallist Ernest Obiena.
Hence he began to carve out his own name by being the only Gold medallist for the Philippines at the 2017 SEA Youth in Ilagan. And breaking his own Palaro Record. Obiena PB at the Palaro in Antique was 4.30m.
According to his father, Edward Obiena, who self-funded Asian Juniors. Francis had 3 failed attempts at 4.40m. While Thailand Kasinphob Chomchanad won gold at 5.00m, China took silver in 4.85m. And Bronze to an Indonesian in 4.80m.
While 6 athletes were originally included in this trip, four could not secure a passport in time. In fact, two of them were even waiting for their passports to arrive at the airport, but they never did. So the two athletes just went back home.
So the only other athlete on this trip is Wally Gacusan from Ilagan, a silver medallist in the High Jump at the SEA Youth in 1.81m. At the same time, Gacusan failed to medal at the Palarong Pambansa. He will see action tomorrow 23rd May.
The Philippines tends to send few entries to the Asian Youth Champs. Bacolod’s Jerry Belibestre in 2015 took the Bronze Medal in Qatar in the Long Jump. Simultaneously, 2015 SEA Games Champion Kayla Richardson was 5th and her twin sister Kyla Richardson 6th in the 100m Dash at the 2013 edition.
The team was accompanied by National Head Coach Sean Guevarra and Team Manager Drolly Claravall from Ilagan.
Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years.
He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021-
Current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program.
Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.
Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education.
He can be contacted on email@example.com
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