BMX ace Patrick Coo hopes to turn Tokyo absence into Paris stint
BMX ace Patrick Coo fell short in his push to race for the Philippine flag in the Tokyo Olympics last year.
The former Asian junior champion will now embark on a steep climb toward the 2024 Paris Olympics in the National Championships for BMX Racing and Freestyle in Tagaytay City this weekend.
“I’m always proud to represent the Philippines in any competition; I’ll give it another shot,’’ said the US-based Coo.
The 20-year-old from Bellflower, California, headlines the cast of close to 50 aspiring Filipino BMX riders in the two-day competitions presented by Tagaytay City as well as the 8th District of Cavite province.
Road starts in Tagaytay
Coo finished 42nd in a field of 62 riders in Stage 3 of the World Cup in Bogota, Colombia, last year, which offered spots to the Tokyo Olympics.
He eventually wound up 45th after four stages and likewise didn’t make the grade in the last chance races.
“It was my first World Cup and my participation was a last-minute thing. We gave our all and tried to live up to the expectations,’’ said Coo.
His road back to the Olympic qualifiers will be laid out beginning with the national championships as the Tagaytay City BMX Racing Track finally comes alive for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic halted all sports events for nearly two years.
“Finally, the BMX track will be of full use. And this national championships will draw the best out of our BMX aspirants on a world-class track,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino, also the head of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines (PhilCycling).
The International Cycling Union-standard BMX track was one of the cycling venues of the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country hosted in 2019 before the global pandemic struck.
The track now has a roof, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
The BMX races kick off on Saturday with competitions in the men and women elite, under-23 and junior categories.