TAGAYTAY CITY – Japan reigned supreme at the Asian Cycling Confederation BMX Road and Freestyle Championships, winning a total of six gold medals, including three on the final day of competition here on Sunday.
Sae Hatakeyama won the women's elite race over Chinese Liao Wanyi and Japanese Kanami Tanno at the Tagaytay City BMX Park.
Hyoga Kiuchi bagged the gold medal in the men's junior category, while Korean Jeon Wooseong and Japanese Yuwa Sakamoto grabbed the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
In the women's Under-23 category, Neneka Nishimura ranked first, followed by Thais Khemika Srisopha and Hathaipech Jaisawang.
Rimu Nakamura scored 89.5 points to win the men's park in freestyle gold medal late Saturday, with compatriot Joji Mizogaki (82.25 points) clinching the silver medal and Chinese Sha Xiaolong (78.25) taking the bronze medal.
Japan's first two medals came from the men's (Moto Sasaki) and women's (Sakura Kawaguchi) freestyle flatland competition last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hatakeyama earned automatic qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics, along with men's elite winner Komet Sukpraser of Thailand.
Misfortunes, however, struck Filipino bets Daniel Caluag and Patrick Coo.
Caluag, the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medalist, lost some two seconds when his front wheel got stuck momentarily at the starting gate in the semifinals.
Former Asian junior champion Coo, on the other hand, advanced to the final but finished last among eight riders.
Other winners were Indonesians Shifa Maulidina Qotron Nada (women's junior) and Adiya Fajar Putu Soekarno (men's Under-23).
Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham Tolentino, who is also president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and PhilCycling, handed out the medals to the winners at the newly refurbished and multipurpose Tagaytay City Combat Center.
Nine countries joined the two-day tournament calendared by the International Cycling Union and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, POC, City Government of Tagaytay and Council, First District of Cavite, and Province of Cavite. (PNA)