SEA Games: Filipino cyclists grabs two bronzes in mountain bike downhill
MANILA, Philippines —John Derick Farr and Naomi Gardoce nabbed bronze medals in the men’s and women’s mountain bike downhill events in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Sunday at Hoa Binh Gymnastics and Sports Center in Vietnam.
Farr,a gold medal winner in 2019, clocked a SEA Games record of three minutes and 13.138 seconds over the 2.0-km track carved over a hill in Hao Dinh City’s outskirts that’s not more than 300 meters in elevation. But it was only good for a bronze medal.
Thailand’s Methasit Boonsane ruled the contest with the best time of 3:06.27, while Indonesia’s Andy Prenoga was the runner-up, finishing three seconds slower than the Thai (3:09.356) as the top three finishers all broke the SEA Games record.
Farr’s compatriot Eleazar Barba Jr. missed the podium, finishing fifth (3:19.471).
Meanwhile, Gardoce also won bronze in the women’s downhill, clocking a time of 3:44.722.
“I feel surprised by the bronze, I wasn’t expecting to make the podium because the pandemic really cluttered my training,” Gardoce said.
Tiara Andino Priastika won the gold in 3:31.531, beating Thai Vipavee Deekaballes by 10 seconds (3:42.337).
Lea Denise Belgira, the reigning gold medalist, placed seventh after her front tire got busted in the first drop—some 400 meters from the start and about eight feet high. She still completed the course and finished with a time of 7:03.854, receiving a loud and appreciative applause from the relatively big crowd that gathered at the start/finish area.
“I got the flat tire right in the first drop,” said Belgir of Guimaras. “I felt the thud and I knew it…I tried to ride flat but to no avail.”
“It’s okay, Naomi has a bronze medal and it’s a success already for the team,” she added.
Mountain bike action resumes starting at 9 a.m. on Monday with the cross country races for men and women. On Tuesday, the mixed relay cross country event will make its debut in the SEA Games.