Asian Games 2023: Daniel Caluag aims for another Asiad gold

Daniel Patrick Caluag tries to duplicate his gold medal-winning feat in the Incheon games exactly nine years ago when he and Patrick Coo vie in cycling’s BMX Racing for men in the 2023 Asian Games on Sunday, October 1.

Venue for the event that kicks off with the Moto 1 at 9:15 a.m., Moto 2 at 10:25 a.m. and the final at 11:30 a.m. is the CSC BMX course in Chun’an, some 170 kilometers southwest of the games’ main hub of Huangzhou.

Daniel Caluag of the Philippines [PSC-POC photo]
Daniel Caluag of the Philippines [PSC-POC photo]

“I remember it as if it was yesterday,” said Caluag, who won the Philippines’ one and only gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. “I am truly blessed to be able to continue doing the thing I love—ride my BMX.”

Caluag is a veteran of London 2012, only the second time that BMX Racing was a medal sport in the Olympics. He was also the Asian champion in 2013.

At 36 years old, Caluag will be the oldest rider on the track.

“I would say I am more relaxed going into these Games,” he said. “It’s hard to measure progress in a changing sport like this, but I am certain I have become older and wiser.”

Coo, who was the Asian junior champion in 2021, will ride the track fresh from his training camp at the UCI World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland.

“I’ll compete the way I’m training for the race,” said Coo, 21, who’ll be riding a tactical race with Caluag against 10 other competitors in their campaign for Team Philippines supported by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Also in the start list are Singapore’s Ali Mas Ridzwan Bib Mohamad, Thailand’s Apisit Jaiwoo and Komet Sukpraset, South Korea’s Dongyeong Park and Joonsoo Yoon, China’s Lin Haochao and Chen Yucheng, Indonesia’s Gusti Bagus Saputra and Fasya Ahsana Rifki anmd Japan’s Asuma Nakai.

The PhilCycling, headed by POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, fielded Ariana Evangelista and Shagne Yaoyao in women’s MTB and Ronald Oranza, Jonel Carcueva and Joshua Pascual in men’s Road race set on October 6.

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