INCHEON, Korea — Daniel Caluag became the first, but he hopes he won’t be the only one.
The Olympic BMX rider stamped his mark in the Asian Games by dominating the race at Ganghwa Asiad BMX Track, topping all three runs to deliver the Philippines’ first gold medal on Wednesday.
Two days remain in the quadrennial competition, and Caluag hopes his fine run would inspire other Filpino athletes to join him at the top of the podium.
The country’s medal tally stands at 1-2-5 gold-silver-bronze as of posting time.
“I’m glad to have won the first gold of our country. I hope there’s more to come from our boxers and others who have not yet competed,” said the 2012 Olympian.
Aside from his country, Caluag dedicated the victory to his wife Stephanie, who recently gave birth to their first child, a girl.
“This is for the country. This is for my baby and my wife,” Caluag said.
Doubts over his capability to win the Asian Games gold medal emerged when it was learned that he didn’t compete in any Union Cycliste International (UCI) sanctioned events this year after winning the gold in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games in 2013 to concentrate on becoming a registered nurse.
But he was an active campaigner in the United States circuit, which he believed was good enough for the Asian Games.
It proved true.
“BMX in the United States is a high level. You already get the best training there, said Caluag.