MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino-American cyclist Daniel Caluag earned a spot in the 2012 Olympics to become the eighth athlete to carry the Philippine colors in the world’s biggest sports gathering scheduled this July in London.
The 25-year-old Caluag, son of a Filipino couple from Bulacan who migrated to the US, earned the needed points after figuring prominently in three tough qualifying BMX tournaments.
Caluag is a four-time BMX top pro in the US and the only Asian to make it to the Olympics’ BMX event.
Philippine team Chief of Mission Manny Lopez confirmed the qualification of Caluag, after receiving a notice from the London Organizing Committee for Olympic Games.
“We are proud to have Mr. Caluag in our team. We know he’ll be a big asset to our small group. And becoming the only Asian to qualify is indeed gratifying,” said Lopez in a statement
The seven other Filipino athletes who have qualified for the Olympics are swimmers Jessie Khing Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi, boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, judoka Tomohiko Hoshina, skeet shooter Brian Rosario, long jumper Marestella Torres and steeplechaser Rene Herrera.
Lopez is hoping one or two more athletes from archery and weightlifting will qualify to make his target of 10 Filipino Olympians, still five short of the total which carried the national colors in Beijing.
Team Philippines is sponsored by ICTSI, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Mizuno and Samsonite.
PhilCycling president and Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino was pleased with Caluag’s qualification.
“I knew from the start that Caluag would get it. He really trained and worked hard to earn the slot,” he said.