Cycling chief: Sport should be ‘priority’
Hailed as the country’s savior in the recent 17th Asian Games, cycling wants to be included in the state’s elite roster of priority sports.
BMX cyclist Daniel Caluag salvaged the lone gold medal for the Philippines in Incheon, South Korea, where Filipinos also brought home three silver and 11 bronze medals.
Caluag’s sport, however, doesn’t belong to the exclusive roster of sports that enjoys better government funding as well as attention and is tasked with delivering the medals in high-level competitions such as the Asian Games.
The Philippine Sports Commission granted “priority sport” status last year to athletics, archery, boxing, billiards, taekwondo, swimming, wrestling, weightlifting and wushu.
Swimming and weightlifting were evicted from that list a few months ago for failing to deliver the goods in the Southeast Asian Games last year in Burma (Myanmar).
“Is cycling now qualified to be in that list?” asked Cavite Rep. and PhilCycling president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
Should cycling be included in the priority program, Tolentino said it would boost the training of Caluag in future qualifying meets for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The cycling chief added he would also push for the construction of a BMX race track near Metro Manila to encourage more Filipinos to take up the sport.
“We need the help of the private sector and a local government unit willing to accommodate the project,” Tolentino said.