Two sports heroes—archer Luis Gabriel Moreno and cyclist Daniel Caluag—saved the Philippines from a dismal finish in two major quadrennial meets in 2014.
Moreno bagged the country’s first-ever gold medal in the Youth Olympic Games held in Nanjing, China. He connived with Chinese Li Jiaman in winning the mixed international recurve gold medal.
They beat Muhammad Zoklepeli of Malaysia and Cynthia Freywald of Germany via an impressive 6-0 win (38-37, 38-35, 37-33).
Moreno pocketed P2.5 million cash incentive from the government through the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and other incentives from private sectors.
Caluag, for his part, delivered the lone gold medal of Team Philippines in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
He ruled the men’s BMX event after clocking 35-second showing in three runs, beating
Japanese Masahiro Sampei and Chinese Yan Zhu, settled for silver and bronze, respectively.
The Philippines wrapped up its campaign with one gold, three silvers and 11 bronze—one of the country’s worst finishes in the two decades. The previous medal output of the Filipino athletes in the Asiad were 1-2-7 (1990 Beijing, China), 3-2-8 (1994 Hiroshima, Japan), 1-5-12 (1998 Bangkok, Thailand), 3-7-16 (2002 Busan, South Korea), 4-6-9 (2006 Doha, Qatar) and 3-4-9 (2010 Guangzhou, China).
Moreno and Caluag are expected to go all-out in 2015 as they aim to clinch spots in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.