BMX aces axed from the SEA Games; gold hopes lostBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PALEMBANG, Indonesia—Already scrounging for golds, Team Philippines’ bid for two more vanished Friday following the disqualification of highly touted BMX riders Alexis Manosa and Daniel Patrick Manabat from the 26th Southeast Asian Games.
The reason? They carry UCI licences both as an American and as a Filipino.
Philcylcing president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, lambasted their disqualification from Friday’s events because it was only handed down during the team managers’ meeting Thursday night.
“They were already on the entry list, added Tolentino. “They didn’t pose any question then, so that means their papers are in order. The reason really is their opponents saw that they are strong and will surely contend for the gold.”
The 34-year-old Manosa, once ranked ninth in the US Elite Pro Tour, said “it sucks that I could not represent the Philippines because I was truly looking forward to competing in the SEA Games. It would have been a great honor to play for my country.”
The 24-year-old Manabat, a two-time silver medalist in the World BMX championships, was equally disappointed.
“The spirit of [the] Games is for the best to compete but they are not allowing the best to participate,” added Manabat, who was also a four-time No. 1 pro on the US circuit.
Apart from their UCI licenses, cycling team manager Ed Mangaser said the dual citizenships of Manosa and Manabat were also questioned by Thailand and Malaysia.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco also expressed dismay over the disqualification as the BMX riders reportedly really did well during the trial runs on Thursday.