MANILA, Philippines - Daniel Caluag finally won a big one as a Philippine athlete as he bagged the gold medal in the eighth Asian BMX Cycling Championships in Singapore last Sunday.
Caluag, a 26-year-old Fil-Am whose parents are from Bataan and Baguio City, clocked 29.951 seconds in winning the men’s elite gold medal.
Caluag, a veteran of the London 2012 Olympics, beat two Japanese stalwarts – Tatsumi Matsushita (silver, 30.306) and Jukia Yoshimura (bronze, 30.448).
It was the first medal for Caluag while donning the Philippine colors. He was entered in the BMX competitions in the 2011 Indonesia Southeast Asian Games but was disqualified because of technicalities with his International Cycling Union license.
Caluag competed against a men’s elite finals field that had three Japanese and four Chinese.
Chinese Zhao Ziyang was fourth (31.129) followed by Geng Zhibing (32.284), Wang Baoyu (32.71), Japanese Masahiro Sampei (35.634) and Chinese Li Xiaogang (36.884) in that order.
More than 150 riders from China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Kazakhstan competed in the continental tournament, the first Asian championship event of any cycling discipline held in Singapore.
The event served as a showcase for Singapore’s Tampines Bike Park, the world-class track designed by the UCI that was used for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
Hosted by Singapore and organized by Singapore Cycling Federation, the championships served as a platform for cyclists to compete on an international stage and qualify for World BMX Championship.