Category Archives: Hassan Robani

Malaysian Sprint Hurdling

I’ve always been an admirer of Malaysian hurdling. From Nur Herman Majid, Hassan Robani, Moh Siew Wei and Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, Malaysians have figured consistently amongst Southeast Asia’s elite sprint hurdlers. For a Filipino hurdler, their combined hurdling curricula is awe-inspiring. Hence. I’ve often wondered about the secret to success of our Southeast Asian neighbors.

Perhaps the Men’s 4x100m relay holds the answer.

Read Jad Adrian’s article on the 4x100m relay here

The Indonesian dug deep in the last 50m of the final leg, overcoming a sizable lead by Singapore to wrest the gold. Tasting victory, the Indonesian dove like Greg Louganis to win the race by one-hundredth of a second.

The Malaysian anchor hurdling his Indonesian counterpart (Video grab from Singapore Athletics)

While watching the highly-entertaining, closely fought race, the sight of the Malaysian anchor man hurdling the fallen Indonesian last runner brought forth expressions of awe! A collision between sprinters would surely have dire consequences. Thanks to the Malaysian’s quick reaction – and suave, impromptu hurdling – disaster was averted.

This is what you call SPRINT HURDLING!

Video credit:

Unso Smashes Philippine 110m High Hurdles Record

Patrick Unso ran a lifetime’s best of 14.58s to finally better Alonzo Jardin’s 14.75s Philippine record. Unso, the youngest son of Renato Sr.(the current 400m LH record holder and the former 110mHH record holder), wound up sixth in a quality field composed of former SEA Games champions Hassan Robani (MAS), Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian (MAS) and Jamras Rittedet (THA).

Read: “Alonzo Jardin: The Hurdling Artist” here

View the complete results

The fast-finishing Rittedet, the 2009 SEA Games champion, was too classy for Rayzam (13.86s), the surprise 2007 champion. The Thai was half a stride ahead of the Malaysian, stopping the clock at a new games record of 13.77s. Robani (14.14s)  had to dig deep to edge out Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Quang (14.19s) for the bronze.

The 19-year old Unso, still a junior under IAAF rules, was the youngest amongst the top six. As such, the newly-minted Philippine senior record holder is also the junior record holder, over the official 1.067m high barriers. Those who finished ahead of the Filipino are all grizzled veterans. The troika of Robani, Rayzam and Rittedet – the region’s best 110m high hurdlers – all have major championship experience. Pach, in contrast, is on his first ever SEA Games.

Read Jad Adrian’s account of the 110m high hurdles final here

With all due respect to Jardin, it was about time someone broke 14.75s. For far too long, the local hurdling scene has been left in the dustbins of insignificance. Pach Unso’s sixth place finish, while light-years away from a SEA Games podium finish and the Olympic “B” standard, augurs well for Philippine sprint hurdling. Perhaps the young Unso is the spearhead of the new generation of faster, more competitive Filipino sprint hurdlers.

Once Pach’s record is officially ratified, father and son will have their names engraved as reigning senior Philippine record holders for the low hurdles and the high hurdles, respectively. The young Unso also holds the 110m high hurdles (0.99m) national junior record.

*Special thanks to Jad Adrian Washif and Andrew Pirie for the timely updates.

14th ASEAN University Games – 110m High Hurdles

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a video clip of the 110m high hurdles race from the 14th ASEAN University Games held 2 years ago in Malaysia. My former teammate and training buddy, Mike Mendoza competed. Together with UST’s Robin Tuliao, the duo represented the Philippines in the sprint hurdles.

The three-time UAAP sprint hurdles champion was obviously outgunned by the rest of the field. 2005 Manila SEA Games Champion, Hassan Robani of Malaysia, topped all competitors with his 14.07s clocking. Abdul Hakeem placed second, stopping the clock at 14.45s – a new Singapore national record. Mendoza finished in 5th place (15.11s), close to his lifetime best of 14.97s. Tuliao crossed the tape last in 15.37s.

Read Reactiv’s article on the race

Read Singapore Sports Fan’s thoughts of Hakeem’s record breaking ways

Had I competed in the race and ran my almost three-year old best time of 15.52s, I would have finished a dismal 8th place – a full second behind Hakeem!

The Philippine sprint hurdling scene is so far behind regional standards that our collegiate hurdlers could hardly keep in step with our Southeast Asian neighbors. This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that Mendoza’s and Tuliao’s international exposure is quite minimal compared to, say, Hakeem’s (a veteran of the SEA Games and the Osaka and Berlin World Championships). Surely, going against the likes of Liu Xiang does wonders to one’s motivation!

With the current state of my fitness level, I estimate a probable low-16 second clocking, should I be made to run the sprint hurdles in short notice. I have no intention of falling back to 16 seconds again. It is a dismal time. I shall compete once I feel that I’m in shape to stop the clock at a high 14-second or low 15-second time – the state of my fitness level before my retirement. Anything slower is unacceptable.

In the coming months, I’ll be whipping my body into tip-top shape, in an effort to play catch up.

Video credit:


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