INCHEON, South Korea: Daniel Caluag bagged the Philippines’ first gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games by ruling the BMX Moto Race cycling event.
But with two days left in the Games here, the Philippines will be struggling to match or surpass its three gold, four silver and nine bronze medal output in the 2010 Games in Guangzhou, China.
Caluag finished first in all of his three races: Moto 1 (35.27 seconds), Moto 2 (35.36) and Moto 3 (35.43). He beat Japan’s Masahiro Sampei, who finished second, and China’s Zhu Yan, who placed third.
His younger brother, Christopher John, wound up fourth.
The Philippines added another bronze to its medal haul, courtesy of Mary Anjelay Pelaez, a -46-kilogram campaigner in women’s tae kwon do.
The 22-year-old Pelaez eliminated Myanmar’s Nway Nway in the quarterfinals, 3-0, but lost to South Korea’s Kim Sohui in the semifinals, 2-1.
Two other Filipino jins lost their matches earlier.
Christian Al dela Cruz had an opening-round 8-2 victory over Qatar’s Mahmoud Hamdy Abdelrahim but dropped a close 10-9 decision to Uzbekistan’s Maksim Rafalovich in the quarterfinals of the men’s -80 kgs.
Pauline Louise Lopez was outclassed by China’s Wang Yu, 3-0, in the women’s -57 kgs.
In basketball, Gilas Pilipinas ended its Asiad campaign with an 84-68 romp over Mongolia to finish seventh. Ranidel De Ocampo shot 25 points, and LA Tenorio, June Mar Fajardo and Gabe Norwood contributed 11 each.
Toting one gold, two silvers and five bronzes, the Philippines moved up to 22nd place in the medal tally. The silvers were contributed by wushu bets Daniel Parantac and Jean Claude Saclag, while the bronzes were from Paul dela Cruz of archery, Francisco Solis of wushu and Samuel Morrison and Levita Ilao of tae kwon do.
Powerhouse China continued its medal spree, harvesting 128 golds, 83 silvers and 67 bronzes. Host South Korea was a distant second with 54-58-62, followed by Japan (38-55-56), Kazakhstan (15-17-25) and Iran (14-11-10).
The Philippines could still improve its standing as four boxers have a crack at the finals.
Former World Series of Boxing campaigner Charly Suarez faces Jordan’s Obada Mohammad Mustafa Alkasbeh in the men’s lightweight, Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga battles South Korea’s Shin Jonghun in the men’s light flyweight, Mario Fernandez fights China’s Zhang Jiawei in the men’s bantamweight and Wilfredo Lopez takes on Jordan’s Odai Riyad Adel Alhindawi in the men’s middleweight.
The boxing team will try to surpass its one-gold, one-silver, one-bronze collection in the 2010 Asiad.
In athletics, Filipino-American Erac Shauwn Cray was scheduled to run in the men’s 400-meter hurdles late Wednesday. He was seeded second going into the finals after clocking 50.00 seconds—a new national record— in the preliminary round. The old mark was 50.74 he set last year.