After two days in Bogota, Patrick Coo might have not gained points but has definitely gained experience.
PhilCycling’s lone Olympic hope misses the Round of 16 once more with another third place finish in the Last Chance Race of the 2021 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Monday morning (Manila time).
“I’m always proud to represent the Philippines in any competitions abroad, I’ll give it another shot,” Coo said.
“It’s been my dream and I hope to win a medal for the Philippines. I am proud to be a Filipino.”
The result effectively ended the chances of the country to return to the Olympic Games in cycling after missing the previous edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Coo once again started well in the Last Chance Race, placing second to Russian Evgeny Kleschenko by just 0.035 seconds. However, the Filipino teen could not keep it up after the first jumps.
“It was really a last-minute thing and we did our best,” said Coo, who was accompanied in Bogota by PhilCycling coaches Ednalyn Hualda and Frederick Farr.
“I’m so thankful to everyone, especially to Congressman Abraham Tolentino for assembling this really quick.”
The 19-year-old once again had a hard time at the opening jumps, pushing him to third place and behind Peru’s Andre Lacroix after the first turn.
Coo tried to close the gap between him and the South American, but the latter eventually pulled away to take the second spot in the Round of 16. Kleschenko closed the finish line first for the first berth.
“We really gave our all. My first World Cup—with a big expectation—I tried to live up to it but it was hard, my best wasn’t good enough,” said Coo.
In Round 1, the 2019 Asian BMX juniors champion kept up with the chase pack that included him, Germany’s Julian Schmidt, and Italy’s Mattia Furlan. Furlan then came out of nowhere in the final straight to snare the last outright passage into the Round of 16, forcing Schmidt and Coo into the Last Chance Race.
Daniel Caluag, the Philippines ‘ lone gold medalist from the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, was the last cyclist who participated in the Olympics. The current frontline nurse in Kentucky carried the flag in the 2018 London Games.
“Patrick did his best, and I am proud of him for being so,” said PhilCycling head Bambol Tolentino, also the Philippine Olympic Committee president.
“He’s still young and he’s got a lot of BMX racing ahead of him.”