MANILA, Philippines – Filipino BMX rider Danny Caluag sported some bruises after taking a spill in practice Thursday morning in London ahead of his event in the Olympic Games.
Caluag spilled shortly after taking off in the second day of his Birmingham training. He slid just as he was about to negotiate a turn after a ride down a high ramp while in the midst of a workout.
The spill forced the Fil-American to skip riding for a few more laps, instead opting to go back to the team vehicle for a long drive back to the Athletes’ Village.
But Caluag said it was “nothing to worry about.” “It’s normal in BMX,” said the 25-year-old rider.
According to Caluag’s girlfriend, Stephanie, his pedal handler unclipped as he biked down a ramp about eight meters high, sending him to slide for a few meters.
Stephanie, who is also Caluag’s mechanic and a BMX rider as well, realized there was nothing to fear when her boyfriend got up after a few seconds and smiled.
“When he got up, carried his bike and smiled at me, I knew he was okay,” said Stephanie.
Since arriving last week at the Village, Caluag has trained two times at Birmingham, the site of the last world championships where he gained enough points to make it to the Olympics as the only Asian qualifier among 32 entries.
He is one of the three members of the 11-man Philippine contingent who has yet to see action halfway through the Olympic Games.
The others are long jumper Marestella Torres and 500-meter bet Rene Herrera.
Caluag opens his bid on August 8 when he competes in one of the four ranking races set at a specially-constructed facility inside the Olympic Park. -- With a report from Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau