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Fil-Am may not be able to defend BMX title in Asiad

By Jerome Lagunzad

Unless the cycling body succeeds in the reinstatement of two BMX events, the Philippines will not be able to defend the only title it won during the 2014 Incheon Games.

This developed after Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee decided to drop 9 events, including an event in BMX where Fil-American Daniel Patrick Caluag reigned supreme four years ago.

Daniel Patrick Caluag

Daniel Patrick Caluag

The Indonesian Asian Games will be co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.

In an online report published by xinhuanet.com, a China-based media outlet, the IAGOC has scrapped two events in BMX along with three others in boxing, one in jiu-jitsu, one in karate, one in kurash (Turkish wrestling) and one in sambo.

Those events, according to IAGOC chief Eric Thorir, will be replaced by five in archery and four in wall climbing.

As a host, Indonesia has the right to choose the sporting events it wants. As of present, the two-week long competition will feature 462 events from 40 sports, including 28 Olympic sports.

At 30, Caluag is hoping to regain the form that won for himself the gold medal in the Incheon Games after settling for a silver in the Kuala Lumpur Games.

“He needs to be in fighting form just like in Incheon,” said an official of cycling association who refused to be identified. “Medyo chubby siya during the Kuala Lumpur Games, he should be agile.

However, Team Philippines chief of mission Julian Camacho said it will be tackled in earnest during the Chefs de Mission meeting on Wednesday in Jakarta where he will be accompanied by Princess Kiram, the country’s deputy CDM to the 2018 Asiad.

“Hindi pa namin alam kung final na ‘yung decision nila. Pero ang sigurado, mapag-uusapan na with finality ‘yung mga sports na paglalaban-labanan next year,” he told Tempo-Manila Bulletin in a phone interview yesterday.

If the IAGOC pushes through with its plans, Camacho, 75, said he will coordinate with PhilCycling in “making an appeal” before the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport’s world governing body, to reinstate the BMX events.