Asian Games recap (August 25): BMX rider delivers 8th Philippine medal


Posted at Aug 26 2018 12:18 AM

Danny Caluag competes in the men's BMX race in Jakarta on Saturday. He finished with the bronze. Athit Perawongmetha, Reuters

Danny Caluag is “happy” to take home the bronze medal in the men's BMX competition on Friday, given the lack of thorough preparations ahead in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

Caluag entered the Games as the reigning champion but ceded his throne to a Japanese opponent.

“I didn't get the result I aimed for but I am happy to contribute a medal for the Philippines,” he said.

Bambol Tolentino, president of PhilCycling, the sport's national governing body, hailed Caluag’s accomplishment, saying it’s more than vindication for the London 2012 Olympian.

“Danny [Caluag] didn’t race in any UCI event ahead of the Asian Games but still he managed to deliver,” Tolentino said. 

“He has beaten the Japanese gold medalist before but in this race, Danny gave him a scare — to think that the Japanese is UCI ranked while Danny isn’t.”

The UCI, or the International Cycling Union, is the sport's world-governing body.

A pair of disappointing results in popular events held later in the night dampened that podium finish, the Philippines' eighth overall in these Games.

Mario Fernandez became the latest boxer to be shown the door, after being knockout in a bantamweight bout.

Alyssa Valdez and the women's national volleyball team lost 25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22 to Indonesia.

The Filipinas are expected to book a seat in the quarterfinals — a win by juggernaut Japan over minnow Hong Kong would make that official — but Valdez and crew wanted to use the match against the hosts to build momentum entering the next stage.

The men's and women's teams in traditional boat racing, both no strangers to regional success, failed to medal in the 200-meter events in Palembang.

In jiu-jitsu, the Philippines saw 3 of its competitors bundled out early.

Golf offered hope for the country when Yuka Saso finished in a tie for third in the women's singles competition.

Saso checked a faltering finish on the back nine to shoot a three-under 69. 

After playing flawlessly on the first nine holes — spiked by birdies on the first, fifth and fourth holes — Saso struggled on the way back with bogeys on the 14th and 16th. 

She closed her round with a birdie for a 209 aggregate, good for a tie with Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand.

Both were four shots behind pace-setting Liu Wenbo of China and second-running Du Mohan also of China.

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