Cycling’s last chance for Tokyo bet is BMX ace Coo
BMX racer Patrick Coo is the last man standing in the Philippine cycling team vying for a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, a goal he’s looking to achieve in the International Cycling Union World Cup Round 4 Olympic qualifier in Bogota on May 30.
The 19-year-old Asian BMX juniors champion is scheduled to land on the Colombian capital with PhilCycling coaches Ednalyn Hualda and Frederick Farr on Tuesday, quite an early arrival since all participants in the Olympic qualifier need to complete a quarantine period of 14 days.
“I am very much motivated and excited to go after that slot [to the Tokyo Olympics],” said Coo, whose dad Benjamin hails from Iloilo and his mom Romalyn from Cagayan de Oro City.
Coo needs to end up at least fourth in the race to qualify. He is the lone representative of the country in the meet after London 2012 Olympian Daniel Caluag couldn’t prepare for the qualifier because of his job as a nurse in Kentucky.
Para bets getting ready
Meanwhile, para athletes from track and field, swimming, table tennis, cycling and powerlifting are preparing for qualifying events for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.
First to engage in the qualifiers are the track and field trio of partially-blind sprinter Archand Christian Bagsit, amputee jumper Andy Javellana and wheelchair racer Jerrold Magliwan, who are bound for Nottwil, Switzerland, for the World Para Athletics Grand Prix on May 14 to 16.“When Danny (Caluag) won, I was motivated to race for the Philippines,” said Coo, referring to Caluag winning the country’s only gold medal in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games that earned him the Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association.
Coo was only 12 then.
“We are hoping for Patrick to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics not only because of his potential to become a champion, but because of his passion and motivation—he trains endlessly,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president and Cavite representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who also heads PhilCycling.
Coo bids to join weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and boxers Eumir Felix Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno in the July 23 to August 8 Olympics.
“I train hard all the time, but I am expecting tough opponents in Colombia,” said Coo, who hails from Bellflower, California, and won first state championship when he was eight years old. INQ
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