Golden Boy Caluag gets P1.6 million
THE MAN who could end up as the country’s lone gold medalist in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, yesterday reaped the rewards for his golden performance.
The Philippine Sports Commission turned over the mandated P1-million incentive to Daniel Caluag, just two days after he ruled the BMX cycling event in the quadrennial Games.
A registered nurse in the United States, Caluag could get as much P1.6 million with cycling corporate partner, LBC, chipping in a P100,000 bonus and Smart Communications, under sports patron and tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, pledging P500,000.
“I just want to thank everyone,” said Caluag during the turnover ceremony presided over by PSC commissioner Salvador “Buddy” Andrada at the PSC administration building in Manila.
“It’s such an honor to represent the Philippines. This country carries such a punch, and showed the world that it is possible for all Filipinos to achieve whatever they want to achieve.”
Caluag had to leave his family, including newly born baby girl, Sydney Isabella, in Lexington, Kentucky, in order to compete in the Incheon Asiad.
And it was all worth it in the end as the reigning Asian and Southeast Asian Games champion pipped Japanese Masahiro Sampei for the gold.
“If not for him, we will not have a gold until now,” Andrada said of Caluag, who was accompanied by PhilCycling president and Cavite 7th District Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, his coach Greg Romero and brother CJ, the fourth placer in the Asiad.
“I just want to create more interest in cycling,” Caluag said.
Tolentino bared that Caluag intentionally skipped UCI (International Cycling Federation) events to avoid getting scouted by his Asian Games rivals and instead competed “under the radar” in other non-UCI BMX events in the United States.
“In the US, there are BMX races that are higher in level than UCI-sanctioned BMX competitions,” said Tolentino.
Caluag said he is setting his sights on the Singapore Southeast Asian Games next year and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. He will also take part in the World Championships in Colombia next year.
“Danny will be absent this November for the Asian Championships because he has already proven who is the best in the region,” said Tolentino.
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