Caluag steps up Rio drive

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Am rider Daniel Caluag launches a last-ditch attempt to make the Rio Olympics as he competes in the UCI BMX World Championship this weekend in Medellin, Colombia.

Caluag, a veteran of the London Olympiad, needs to figure prominently in the men’s elite competition to secure precious UCI points and earn a quota place for Phl in the Rio joust.

“This is the last competition in the qualification period. Hopefully we can land in the Top 32 countries to qualify in the Rio Olympics,” PhilCycling deputy secretary general Kamilla Sumagui said yesterday.

The Chino, California-based Caluag had been rather inactive since winning Phl’s lone gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. He missed a number of Olympic-qualifying events over the last two years to drop out of the world ranking.

Per Caluag’s report to PhilCycling, his last tournaments were the Gator Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona and Winter Nationals in Florida last February.

Another Fil-Am rider, 17-year-old Sienna Fines, is set to vie in the women’s juniors. According to Sumagui, the world No. 21 Fines similarly needs to perform to put Phl inside the Top 16 countries for a Rio trip.

The BMX racers aim to join a lean Phl delegation that so far includes boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, tracksters Eric Cray and Marestella Torres, weightlifter Hidilyn Diez, taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora, and table tennis bet Ian Lariba.                 





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