By Jean Malanum
MANILA – Patrick Bren Coo started his quest to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics with a silver medal performance in the BMX Indonesia Cup Round 1 at the Pulonas International BMX Center in Jakarta on Sunday.
The Filipino-American cyclist clocked 34.138 and earned 86 points in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rankings.
The gold medal went to Indonesian Gusti Bagus Saputra, who finished the race in 33.919 seconds and was rewarded with 100 points. His compatriot, Rio Akbar, submitted a time of 34.346 to settle for the bronze medal and 74 points.
“It was very, very close to the gold, but it’s racing,” said Coo, the 2021 Asian Juniors champion, in a news release on Monday.
The humidity has affected the riders, especially those from foreign teams.
“It was so hot and was super hard to cool down. We were given only some 15 minutes break in between races, unlike in other races and in the US where there are breaks are one hour or more,” said the 20-year-old Coo, whose family is from Iloilo.
Coo is now in Bangkok to join the Thailand BMX Cup 2, a C1 UCI race scheduled on March 19.
Another Filipino hoping to qualify for Paris is Daniel Caluag, who is eyeing to get the slot at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September.
Caluag, 36, competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He won the country’s lone gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He was a bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia and had won medals at the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar (gold, 2013) and the Philippines (silver, 2019), and the Asian Championships in Singapore (gold, 2013). (PNA)