Another day, another bronze | Inquirer Sports

Another day, another bronze

Defending champ Caluag loses BMX crown, settles for third; move to heavier weight class derails Asian jiujitsu queen
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:56 AM August 26, 2018

2014 Asian Games gold medalist Daniel Caluag (right) hurdles a jump on the way to a bronze medal in this Asiad’s BMX competitions. —PH ASIAN GAMES MEDIA POOL

JAKARTA—Anyone wondering what shape Daniel Caluag was in in his defense of the men’s BMX gold in the Asian Games got an answer in spades, with the registered nurse—sans all the preparations as far as participating in big-time races are concerned—pocketing a bronze Saturday to add to the Philippine medal haul.

“I didn’t get the result I was aiming for but I am happy with the medal I contributed,” the 31-year-old Caluag, whose day job in two hospitals three days a week as a nurse in the United States made pundits conclude that he was not in shape before coming over, told Filipino reporters at Jakarta International BMX Track here.


“I came in wanting the gold [medal], that was the vision,” he said. “I’m happy with the way I finished. I would have been happier with a better color [of medal], though.”

Yoshitaku Nagasako of Japan clocked 33.669 seconds, with Indonesian bet Gustin Bagus Saputra checking in second at 34.314.


Caluag, who knew at the start of the Asiad that the Japanese was the rider to beat, timed 35.842 as the Philippines pocketed its seventh bronze medal that went with its lone gold courtesy of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz last Tuesday.

As of 7 p.m. (8 in Manila), host Indonesia is the best Southeast Asian country with a total of 38 medals, 10 of them gold, as China continued its assault on the continental sporting showpiece with 71 gold medals making a chunk of its 149 overall.

Team Philippines stood in 23rd spot.

While the lone man to win a gold for the country in the last edition of the Games failed in his defense, pencak silat got a third bet with a chance for a medal after Cherry May Regalado entered the medal round of the form event and two other bets shooting for sure silvers Sunday in singles tanding (sparring).

Two fancied martial arts bets, though, crashed out after their opening bouts even as the women’s golf team led by Yuka Saso positioned itself for medal finishes, with the 18-year-old ace wheeling into solid contention for the individual gold over at Pondok Indah course.

Asian champion Annie Ramirez and Apryl Eppinger took to the door in their respective jiujitsu divisions, with Ramirez ruing moving up to a heavier weight class in bowing to Kira Sung of South Korea, 0-21 in the 62-kilogram division of newaza.

“I’m very sorry,” Ramirez told local scribes in Filipino, knowing the expectations of her back home. “She was really heavier than me. I had to move to this weight class because it’s the only category for me here.”


Onanong Sangsirichok eliminated Eppinger, who was in the 2014 Games in Incheon as a cyclist, 3-0.

Sorry knockout

Boxing took another loss—literally flush on the chin this time—after Mario Fernandez was knocked out by Iraq’s Jaafar Abdulridha Al Sudani with 47 seconds left in the third round of their men’s bantamweight bout and the Filipino enjoying a wide lead in the judges’ scorecards.

Fernandez was later carried out on a stretcher.

Saso submitted a second straight three-under-par 69 and moved within four shots of the lead, tied for third with Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, who also shot a 69, with a 209 aggregate going into Sunday’s final 18 holes.

The Filipinos are within two shots of second place in the team event at 10-under after Bianca Pagdanganan cracked par for the second straight day with a 71. China still leads the team race with a 19-under total.

The men’s team bowed out of medal contention, with Wei Wei Gao firing a 77 to also kiss his individual chances goodbye.

Over in Palembang, the men’s dragon boat team finished fifth in the finals of the 200-meter race at Jakabaring Canoeing and Rowing Center, blaming the false start of the host Indonesian team for putting them off their rhythm.

China won that race with a time of 50.832.

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TAGS: Annie Ramirez, Asian Games, Daniel Caluag, Philippines
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