MANILA – Ariana Dormitorio took home the lone gold medal of the Philippines in the Women Under-23 Olympic Cross Country event of the 24th Asian Mountain Bike Championships in Danao City, Cebu.
Dormitorio became the first Filipina to win a gold in the Asian Championships and the second Philippine representative to top the competitions since Placido Valdez in 1997.
Her gold-medal win on Sunday also earned for the 21-year-old the much-needed UCI points in her bid for the Tokyo Olympics, according to her head coach and father Donjie.
Dormitorio, a native of Iloilo City, dominated the 20.74-km race – which ran through four loops in a 5-km technical course – in one hour, 14 minutes and 56 seconds.
Natalie Panyawan of Thailand was six minutes and nine seconds behind the Filipina while Malaysia’s Nur Deena Safia Nor Effandy trailed 13 minutes behind the champion.
The gold was the second medal of Dormitorio in the three-day event after winning bronze as part of the Team Cross Country Relay with Avegail Rombaon, Jake and Jericho Rivera.
Dormitorio will have no time for rest – on Wednesday she leaves for Japan to compete in the second leg of the Asia MTB series to be held in Yawatahama, Japan on Sunday next week./PN