MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is planning to send its best under-23 team to compete in the World Cycling Championship slated Sept. 20-27 in Richmond, Virginia in the US where they will be pitted against the best in the globe.
PhilCycling chief Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino yesterday said this is the first time the country has qualified for the World Championship where the country can also gain points for a chance to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It’s like hitting two birds with one stone because this is the first time we’ll be competing in the World Championship while we get the opportunity to earn qualifying points for the Rio Olympics,” said Tolentino.
Only the top seven Asian nations qualified for the annual race. Kazakhstan, Korea, Iran, Japan, Hong Kong and Lebanon were the other countries that made the grade.
“We’re the only country in Southeast Asia that qualified,” said national team coach Chris Allison.
Allison said they are eyeing John Mark Camingao of Navy, Rustom Lim and either Ronald Lomotos or Dominic Perez of 7-11.
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Tolentino said they’re seeking assistance from the Philippine Sports Commission to help fund the country’s participation in the prestigious race.
“We’re asking for help from the PSC. We hope they help us here because our target really is not just the World Championship, but also the Olympics,” said Tolentino.
Ronda Pilipinas project director Moe Chulani said LBC, MVP Sports Foundation and Standard Insurance have indicated their willingness to provide support.