PH rider Caluag unable to defend SEA Games crown as 2015 host Singapore junks BMX

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Don’t expect Asian Games men’s BMX champion Daniel Caluag to be around in the 28th Singapore Southeast Asian Games next year.

Singaporean organizers have excluded the sport in the calendar of events in the regional sportsfest, said PH chef de mission Julian Camacho on Thursday, October 16, denying Caluag the chance at defending the title he won in the Myanmar SEA Games a year ago.

“BMX is not included in the events in Singapore. Its chances of being reinstated are dim,” said Camacho after meeting with representatives of National Sports Associations that will field athletes in the Singapore sportfest.

Filipino-American Caluag was the country’s saving grace in the recent Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, averting a gold-medal shutout in handily ruling the men’s BMX competitions.

Together with younger Christopher John, the Caluags actually wound up 1-2 in the 2013 SEA Games event held in Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar, but will be unable to make a contribution to the country’s performance in Singapore because of the decision of the SEAG organizers, according to Camacho.

What is odd about the situation is that Caluag captured the Asian BMX title when Singapore hosted the competition in early 2013.

Asked to react about the development, cycling association president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino blamed the Philippine Olympic Committee for not lobbying for BMX’s inclusion in the sportsfest.

“Why blame us? It should be our National Olympic Committee which should have fought hard for its (BMX) inclusion in the SEA Games,” Tolentino said.

Camacho, however, said that NSAs were informed as early as April this year that if they wanted their event to be part of the SEA Games calendar, they should solicit the support of their regional counterparts.

The SEA Games Federation Council finalized the roster of disciplines during a meeting in Yangon, Myanmar that same month.

This setback does not augur well for the country seeking to bounce back from its worst ever finish in the Myanmar Games.

Filipino campaigners wound up in seventh place in the overall medal standings with a lean haul of 29 gold, 34 silver and 37 bronze medals.

Meanwhile, Camacho bared that 28 NSAs showed up for the initial meeting organized by the POC-PSC SEA Games Management Committee.

He said the NSA officials were asked to submit their entry by number on October 22 and a comprehensive plan on their respective preparations for the Singapore SEAG.

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