By Kristel Satumbaga
PhilCycling President Bambol Tolentino is pooling almost everything he can to give mountain biker Ariana Dormitorio the opportunity to book a berth in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“Pasasalihin natin si Ariana sa mga qualifying races next year para ma-maintain ang ranking nya,” said Tolentino in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum held online.
The Philippine Olympic Committee chief and Tagaytay Representative said Dormitorio, 23, will have a chance to claim once of four spots allotted in Asia since she is currently ranked fourth in the region behind the cyclists from Japan, China and Iran.
“Japan, being the host, hindi na kailangan kunin so aangat from fourth to third. Kailangan lang nya i-maintain,” said Tolentino.
Also with a chance to advance to Tokyo is Daniel Caluag in the BMX.
Caluag, who saw action in the 2012 London Games, was fifth after the March cutoff set by the UCI – cycling’s world governing group – and will have an opportunity to improve if he performs well in the qualifying races also next year.
“I think ganun din sa BMX,” said Tolentino.
Tolentino had already ruled out the possibility of a Filipino cyclist making it in the road events.
“Road, wala na. Mas malaki chance ng babae sa mountain bike,” he said.
The country currently has four Olympic qualifiers in Carlos Yulo of gymnastics, EJ Obiena of pole vault and Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno of boxing.