Quijano: Of potholes and headgear

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


WHEN is a pothole more than just a hole in a street? Answer: When it becomes an obstacle to be dodged and avoided by 2,500 tri-athletes in one of the biggest sports events in the country.

It then becomes a yawing, concave symbol of our abject failures- a fly in the ointment in what could be one of our proudest moments.

I don’t know about you guys, but I felt a sense of loss when Fred Uytengsu of Sunrise Events wavered on whether or not the Cobra Ironman would return next year on account of our dismal road conditions.

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My partner in these pages, John Pages, is bullish that Cebu will still be the host due to our top-notch facilities and our unique geography and for that I am relieved.

John knows whereof he speaks, being an athlete himself, and so I share his optimism.

But that still doesn’t take away from the fact that we could have done better and we had sufficient notice to do so-yet we did not.

Remember that a mere pothole can have flesh and blood implications. A single misstep or sudden change in trajectory could potentially result in collisions and injuries.

Sure, it was a successful event and we should be proud of what we have accomplished. But bear in mind we got lucky this time that there were few untoward incidents.

For the government officials who were sitting on their butts and who failed to address the appalling road conditions I propose this cruel and unusual punishment:

They should be made to the triathlon in this manner- swim 21kms in the shark-infested waters of Siargao, do 90 kms. on a one-wheeled bike, and a run 1.9km barefoot in the Sahara desert.

HEADGEAR. Recently, at the Commonwealth games sponsored by the International Boxing Association held in Glasgow, Scotland the male competitors did not don any headgear for their fights.

This decision was lauded by some, but criticized by others.

Dr. Hamid Khadri, IBA’s medical chairman stated that the removal of headgear can help reduce concussions because when you use headgear this results in micro-traumatism and the boxer also gets a false sense of safety, thereby increasing the concussion rate.

I have always been skeptical of how the headgear can protect fighters in the amateur ranks. I have donned headgear when I box and I find that it causes a jarring impact and does not really serve to cushion the torque behind a punch.

On the contrary, the additional padding to the head only serves to exponentially increase the force of the blow because it multiplies the impact.

Instead of only the fist and glove of your opponent hitting you, the thick foam padding and the rubber in your head also jars you, making you feel the blow a lot more.

Plus, a headgear limits your peripheral vision and the added bulk to your head limits your head movement, making you more susceptible as a target.

The negative side however is that the absence of headgear makes the fighters prone to cuts and this concern has to be taken into account in weighing what is best, since safety of the fighters is of paramount concern.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on the ironmen in the legal profession- my bro Ramsey, Jemil Marquez, City Prosecutors Gandhi Truya and Rick Macabaya, John Ungab and Tadeo Tumaodos. Cheers! (jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 06, 2014.

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