National U-23 cyclists vie in world tourney, need support
(The Philippine Star) - August 30, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is planning to send its best under-23 team to compete in the World Cycling Championship slated Sept. 20-27 in Richmond, Virginia in the United States but needs financial assistance for the trip.

PhilCycling chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino yesterday said this is the first time the country has qualified for the World Championship where the country can also gain qualifying points for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It’s like hitting two birds with one stone because this is the first time we’ll be competing in the World Championship and this also gives us the opportunity to earn qualifying points to the Rio Olympics,” said Tolentino.

Only the top seven Asian nations qualified for the annual race. With the Philippines are Kazakhstan, Korea, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong and Lebanon.

“We’re the only country in Southeast Asia who qualified,” said national team coach Chris Allison.

Allison said they are eyeing John Mark Camingao of Navy, Rustom Lim and either Ronald Lomotos or Dominic Perez of 7-11.

Tolentino said they’re seeking assistance from the Philippine Sports Commission to help fund the country’s participation in the prestigious race.

“We’re asking for help from the PSC. We hope they help us here because our target really is not just the World Championship, but also the Olympics,” said Tolentino.

Ronda Pilipinas project director Moe Chulani said LBC, MVP Sports Foundation and Standard Insurance have indicated their willingness to provide support.

“The national team will need all the help it can get not just from the government, but the private sector as well,” said Chulani.

For the Filipinos to make it to Rio, they would need to make it to the top four in the Asian rankings.

So far, the Phl is ranked sixth with 223 points, just within striking distance of catching up and even overtaking behind No. 5 Hong Kong (238) and No. 4 Korea (276).

Iran leads Asia with 1,337 points followed by Kazakhstan (460) and Japan (448).

ACIRC CHRIS ALLISON DOMINIC PEREZ FOR THE FILIPINOS HONG KONG HONG KONG AND LEBANON JOHN MARK CAMINGAO OF NAVY KAZAKHSTAN RIO OLYMPICS TOLENTINO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
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