Japanese bets dominate Asian BMX Championships in Tagaytay

By Jean Malanum

July 15, 2023, 9:27 pm

<p>Japan's Moto Sasaki <em>(Facebook photo)</em></p>

Japan's Moto Sasaki (Facebook photo)

TAGAYTAY CITY – Japan dominated the men's and women's freestyle flatland competitions in the Asian Cycling Confederation BMX Road and Freestyle Championships here on Saturday.

Moto Sasaki, a 38-year-old rider from Matsudo City in Chiba Prefecture, scored 90.725 points to top the men's division at the newly refurbished and multipurpose Tagaytay City Combat Center.

Masato Ito, 32, from Osaka registered 88.00 points to secure the silver medal while Pakphum Poosa Art from Bangkok, Thailand settled for the bronze with 84.00 points.

Filipinos Dwyne Lopena (76.400), Georich Cardino (76.150) and Renz Viaje (74.100) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, followed by Malaysians Sheik Muhammad Taslim Shaik (69.525) and Wan Mohamad Shah Yahya (66.075).

"Japan's performance is really high level. Of course, they participate in the World Cup, World Championships, the Grand Prix and the Olympics. But for me, our skills are almost similar. We can do it, too, but we really lack exposures," said Viaje, who also serves as coach.

Meanwhile, Sakura Kawaguchi was crowned women’s champion after posting 78.375 points to beat compatriot Kirara Nakagawa (77.925). Thai Sudarat Suvanich (71.700) and local bet Kristal Hernandez (67.450) occupied the next two spots.

Nakagawa was silver medalist while Kawaguchi bagged the bronze medal at the UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup held in Montpellier, France last May.

China’s Yawn Deng scored 82 points to rule the women’s park in freestyle.

Another Chinese, Gian Zheng (77), took the silver and Japan’s Nene Naito (71.26) got the bronze medal. Filipino Asian Mariano (40) was seventh. (PNA)