MANILA, Philippines – Rider Daniel Patrick Caluag finally bags first Philippine gold after winning the men’s BMX cycling event on Wednesday at the Ganghwa Asiad BMX 400-meter track during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Sought Korea.
The country’s wait for the gold at the Asian Games was over as a Filipino biker clocks 35.489 seconds in the BMX race’s seeding run to position first among eight cyclists and tops all three runs in the men’s motos, with respective times 35.277, 35.366, and 35.431 seconds.
“It’s fantastic. This is for the country. This is for the Filipino people. This is for my baby and my wife,” Daniel Caluag said after dominating the men’s cycling event in the quadrennial sports gathering.
His closest rival was Masahiro Sampei of Japan, who took the silver medal. Zhu Yan of China, on the other hand, settled for the bronze medal.
“It’s always good to be able to win and show that Filipinos can do it in the world stage,” Daniel said.
The 27-year-old biker kept his exceptional form for the Asiad despite not competing in any International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned event for quite some time, opting instead to finish his nursing course.
Daniel’s inspirations, competitive spirit, and natural talent, as well as the support and cheer of the audience, made him victoriously cross the finish line yesterday.
Daniel’s younger brother, Christopher John, missed a spot in the platform by placing fourth.
The Philippines finally strikes its first gold three days before this year’s edition of the Asiad comes to a close.
The country has gone through 13 days of rough competitions, with its basketball team falling to its worst finish ever, and with having few silver and bronze medals before Caluag finally broke through.
Although Caluag’s win did not create a dramatic change in the Asiad standings, the collection is still far better than it was before. The medal count now stands at 1-2-5 (gold-silver-bronze). Wushu hauled two silvers and one bronze, while taekwondo produced three and archery had one bronze.
“I’m glad to have won the first gold for our country and I hope there’s more to come from our boxers and the other sports,” Caluag said.
In the boxing category, there are still four remaining bets for the gold as four Filipino contenders face semifinal opponents.
With report from Cyra Moraleda