PH riders Caluag, Fines fail to qualify for Rio Olympics
DANIEL Caluag, the reigning Asian Games champion, and young Sienna Fines fell way short in their bids to gain berths to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after miserable performances in the UCI BMX World Championship time trials on Saturday in Medellin, Columbia.
After being the only Asian rider in the 2012 Games in London, Caluag’s last hope of making it back to the elite field as a wild card is at the hands of the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and the International Olympic Committee after finishing 70th in a field of 82 riders coming from 36 countries.
Caluag clocked 41.237 seconds as France’s Sylvain Andre and Joris Daudet finished 1-2 with times of 36.374 and 36.839, respectively.
Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands was third with a time of 36.881 as only the top 16 riders made the Olympic grade.
“We didn’t lack in support,” PhilCycling president and Cavite Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, said in Filipino.
“As for the Olympics, I have to check with the UCI and the IOC if Daniel could still make it to Rio,” he added.
The 17-year-old Fines, meanwhile, finished 18th in a field of 24 in the women’s division after clocking 55.047 seconds, finishing close to 12 seconds behind Dutch rider Merel Smulders’ 43.589.
Bethany Shriever of Great Britain timed 43.705 and Ruby Huisman of the Netherlands was clocked at 45.101 as a total of eight riders advanced to the Games.
“Sienna’s still young and she has been racing with elite riders already. We expect her to improve her rankings in future races,” said Tolentino.
Currently ranked 20th in the UCI, the Sacramento, California-based Fines has earned over a hundred podium finishes and at least 49 victories aside from seven national age-group top 10 rankings in the US.
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