Caluag receives P1-M bonus for gold today
INCHEON, South Korea—Daniel Caluag won’t have to wait long to get his golden incentive. After all, he’s in quite a hurry to get home to finally spend time with a baby girl he left when she was just two days old so he could compete at the 17th Asian Games here.
Caluag left the Athletes’ Village on Thursday and was scheduled to arrive in the Philippines hours later, just a day after nailing the first gold medal for the country in the quadrennial Games here.
Caluag topped cycling’s BMX event on Wednesday afternoon.
With his gold, the Philippines stood at 1-2-6 (gold-silver-bronze) and is on track to avoid a repeat of its 1-2-7 showing at Beijing in 1990, the country’s poorest finish in the Asiad since a gold-less stint in Tehran in 1974.
“I am looking forward to more gold medals by our boxers and other sports that have yet to compete here,” said Caluag, who will receive P1 million as bonus under the Sports Incentives Act.
The Philippines, 22nd overall in the standings, still trails its Southeast Asian neighbors as of 6:03 p.m., with Thailand’s 9-6-26 count leading the region.
“It’s unfortunate that we have not been winning medals because I know we got a vast pool of talent,” Caluag said. “But that’s how it is in sports.”
Under the Philippines’ Incentives Act, national athletes who win gold medals in the Asian Games get P1 million, silver medalists get P500,000 and bronze medalists will take home P100,000.
While it normally takes time for these incentives to get disbursed, Caluag is a special case.
The 27-year-old rider lives in the United States and his wife Stephanie just gave birth to daughter Sydney Isabella.
“My wife and I talked about it and we both agreed it was the best thing to do,” said Caluag. “I had to do this for my country and for my new baby, too.”
Caluag said he is eager to fly back home to “hold my baby in my arms.”