BMX rider Daniel Caluag’s dream of making it to the Rio Olympics came to a screeching halt yesterday after the Fil-Am’s lackluster showing in the 2016 UCI World BMX Championships in Medellin, Colombia.
Caluag, the lone gold medalist for the Philippines in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, wound up 70th out of 82 participants in the men’s elite with a time of 41.237 seconds.
Only the top 16 earned berths, including frontrunner Andre Sylvain of France, who clocked 36.37 seconds.
Another Olympic hopeful, Fil-Am Sienna Fines, also didn’t make the grade, finishing 18th out of 24 entries in the women’s side that danged Rio slots to the first eight finishers.
Caluag’s stint in Colombia was made possible by Philcycling chief Bambol Tolentino, who wired $12,000 so the 29-year-old California-bred daredevil could get a chance at qualifying for the Aug. 5 to 21 sportsfest in Brazil.
Tolentino was pained by Caluag’s failure to qualify although he made sure that Philcycling supported his Olympic quest.
“Hindi naman tayo nagpabaya sa suporta,” said Tolentino, who will check with the UCI and the International Olympic Committee if there is still a way for Caluag to make it via the backdoor.
Caluag had also tried to grab an Olympic ticket when he competed in Arizona and Florida last February. (Nick Giongco)