Coo secures Asiad bronze

HANGZHOU, China — Patrick Coo continued the Filipino tradition of winning a medal in BMX racing when he clinched the bronze in the 19th Asian Games at the CSC BMX Course in Chun’an County here.

A day after Ernest John Obiena clinched the country’s first gold medal, it was Coo’s turn to deliver as he clocked 39.076 seconds to clinch the bronze medal behind Asuma Nakai of Japan and Southeast Asian Games champion Komet Sukpraset of Thailand, who posted 37.542 and 38.478 seconds, respectively.

“I’m very happy but hurting for sure,” said the 21-year-old Coo, who scraped the upper part of his right thigh after crashing in the first moto of the 12-cyclist final.

“I ripped my pants in the process and got it fixed immediately.”

With Coo’s bronze, the Philippines had a medal in each of the last three Asian Games — Danny Caluag won the country’s one and only gold medal in Incheon in 2014 and got a bronze in Jakarta four years ago.

Caluag, 36, was in the thick of the race but was shoved to sixth place in the final as he was still recovering from a broken rib that he sustained in training in the United States.

Coo, an Olympic Solidarity scholar, felt amazing about his stint in Hangzhou.

“I feel very happy, I went straight to the biggest one, the Asian Games,” said Coo as he thanked Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who heads the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines.

“This could kick off more major accomplishments for Patrick,” Tolentino said.

“He’s only 21, so young, and he’s been training seriously and diligently the past year or so under the Olympic Solidarity program.”

More medals, however, are expected as William Morrison and Janry Ubas are still competing in the finals of the men’s shot put and men’s long jump events, respectively, at press time while Kristina Knott and John Tolentino will see action in the finals of the women’s 200-meter run and men’s 110-meter hurdles, respectively, on Tuesday.

The vaunted boxing team also still has a chance as Eumir Marcial is still clashing with Southeast Asian rival Weerapon Jongjoho of Thailand in the quarterfinals of the men’s 80-kilogram class at press time while Carlo Paalam will battle Ubdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals of the men’s 57-kg event on Tuesday.

In weightlifting, Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando will also wade into battle in the women’s 59-kg class and women’s 64-kg event on Monday.

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