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19th Asian Games

Patrick Coo continues PhilCycling’s medal-clinching tradition in Asiad BMX

Patrick Coo secured a bronze medal on Sunday in Chun’an, continuing the Philippines’ tradition of winning medals in BMX racing at the Asian Games.

Coo’s bronze marked the seventh medal for Team Philippines and came on the morning following Ernest John ‘EJ” Obiena’s expected gold medal win in men’s pole vault.

“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 had them fixed immediately.”

Japan’s Asuma Nakai, 23, a junior bronze medalist in the UCI world championships last year in Nantes, France, secured the gold medal, closely followed by Southeast Asian Games champion Komet Sukpraset of Thailand and Coo.

With Coo’s bronze, the Philippines has now earned 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 earned bronze in Indonesia five years ago.

Caluag, 36, was in the thick of the race but was pushed to sixth place in the final. He raced while still recovering from a broken rib sustained during training in the US.

Coo, an Olympic Solidarity scholar, felt fantastic about his performance in Hangzhou.

“I feel very happy; I went straight to the biggest one, the Asian Games,” said Coo as he expressed his gratitude to Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who leads PhilCycling.

Tolentino said cycling has once again demonstrated its consistency in contributing medals at the Asian Games.

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“It’s motivation for PhilCycling to achieve more in the international arena,” he added.

Coo arrived just four days ago from Aigle, Switzerland, coming directly from his UCI World Cycling Center training camp. He had to spend a night in Hangzhou, about 150 km from Chun’an, where the cycling competitions were held, because he was directed to the main Athletes Village instead of a bus to the cycling venue.

His crash in the first moto on Sunday wasn’t unique for Coo. He almost always experiences such crashes but has been working to correct his mistakes.

“I’m fast and everything, but I get so much adrenaline most of the time. I need to take it step by step, by staying calmer on the bike,” he explained.

Coo called his parents in the US—Benjamin, who’s from Iloilo, and Romilyn Lag from Cagayan de Oro—minutes after the race.

“They told me to pamper myself when I get back to the Philippines,” said Coo, who resides in Tagaytay City, which has the country’s only UCI BMX race track.

“I haven’t eaten rice for the past three months while I was in Switzerland, so it’s time to indulge in Tagaytay,” he added, along with “a lot of isaw.”

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