Coo starts Paris bid with BMX silver in Jakarta

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PATRICK BREN COO kicked off his campaign to qualify for his first Olympics in Paris 2024 with a silver medal finish in the Indonesia BMX 2023 Round 1 at the Pulonas International BMX Center in Jakarta on Sunday.

“It was very, very close to the gold, but it’s racing,” said the Filipino-American Coo, the Asian Juniors champion in 2021. “But it’s racing, you know what it is.”

Indonesia’s Gusti Bagus Saputra won gold in 33.919 seconds, with Coo finishing only .20 second behind and another Indonesian, Rio Akbar, settling for the bronze with a time of 34.346.

Eleven riders raced in the final with Indonesia qualifying five more riders, South Korea with two and Thailand with one.

The humidity tolled on most of the foreign riders with the athletes and coaches from the foreign teams complaining about the short break in between the motos and the quarterfinals and finals.

“It was so hot and was super hard to cool down,” said Coo, who turns 21 on March 17. “We were given only some 15 minutes break in between races, unlike in other races and in the US where there are breaks are one hour or more.”

Coo earned 86 International Cycling Union points out of the possible 100 points.

Up next for Coo, whose family is Ilonggo, will be the Thailand BMX Cup 2—also a C1 UCI race that offers ranking points like the Jakarta event—on March 19 in Coo and Daniel Caluag are hoping to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympian Caluag is focused on securing a ticket to Paris from the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in September.

Caluag, 36, won the country’s only gold medal in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games and also owns an Asian Games bronze medal from Jakarta 2018 and Southeast Asian Games gold medal from Naypyidaw 2013, silver from Philippines 2019 and gold from the Singapore 2013 Asian championships.

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