BMX FREESTYLE. Armand Mariano (right) and his son, Guetler, and daughter, Asianity, rule the PhiCycling National Championships for BMX Freestyle at the Tagaytay City BMX Track on Sunday (July 17, 2022). Guetler and Armand wound up 1-2 in the men’s competition while Asianity won the women’s contest. (Photo courtesy of PhyCycling)

MANILA – A family of park riders—father Armand, son Guetler and daughter Asianity Mariano—lured the spotlight in Sunday’s PhilCycling National Championships for BMX Freestyle that started with a heated competition at mid-morning but wound up wet and cold—no thanks to a heavy early afternoon rain.

The son, 18-year-old Guetler, upstaged the father, 43-year-old Armand, but they wound up 1-2 in the men’s competition of the championships that featured tricks with varied degrees of difficulties with the BMX bikes at the Tagaytay City BMX Track.

Guetler Mariano collected 99.18 points for the gold and Armand got 96.10 points for the silver medal.

Paulo Diaz Jr. settled for the bronze with 95.18 points in the competitions supported by Tagaytay City, now led by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and PhilCycling President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, POC and the Eighth District and Province of Cavite.

The daughter, Asianity, 19, also made their native Navotas proud by ruling the women’s contest with 94.80 points, winning by a mile over Rhea Marie Aldamar (77.40).

Georich Cardino and Angelina de Guzman, meanwhile, topped the flatland competitions, also by virtue of the qualification round results.

Cardino, who flew all the way from Tagbilaran City along with five of his teammates, scored 66.005 points to bag flatland’s men’s gold medal, beating Deodes Tan (63.40) and Dwyne Lopena (62.75), who completed the podium.

De Guzman, competing out of Tanay, scored 51.30 points to win gold by two-tenths point over Kristal Jane Hernandez. Sarah Melissa Diaz bagged bronze with 49.05 points.

PhilCycling freestyle coach Renz Viaje said heavy rain forced the cancelation of the finals that were set for 2 p.m. at the Tagaytay City Skate and BMX Park, which were built for the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.

Officials went to the qualifications results to determine the winners in the first national championships for BMX’s freestyle and racing that were ruled on Saturday by former Asian junior champion and Olympic Solidarity scholar Patrick Coo (Under 23) and cross-downhill champion John Derick Farr (Elite).

“Too bad the rain fell, but these championships will kickstart BMX competitions, an Olympic event,” Tolentino said. “We envision BMX [racing and freestyle] as a sport where Filipinos could potentially excel in.”

Filipino-American Daniel Caluag is an illustrious BMX racing athlete with a stint at the London 2012 and a gold medal—the country’s lone mint—at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games. He missed the nationals because of his commitment as a registered nurse in the US.

Tagaytay City will host the Asian BMX Championships, a multi-nation continental competition, next year. (PR)