New Delhi: The Cycling Federation of India has announced a nine-member (five women and four men) cycling team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast, Australia.
The team has been selected on the basis of the performance in the Asian Track Cycling Championship held at Nilai in Malaysia from February 16-21, 2018, where the Indian team won four medals including three gold and one bronze.
The nine-member team consists of Deborah – Sprint, Kerin, Individual Time Trial, Team Pursuit, Aleena Reji – Sprint, Individual Time Trial, Kerin, M Sonali Chanu – Endurance Events, Team Pursuit, T. Manorama Devi – Endurance Events, Team Pursuit, Amritha Reghunath – Team Pursuit, Point Race, Ranjit Singh – Team Sprint, Individual Time Trial 1000m, Sahil Kumar – Team Sprint, Keirin, Sanuraj P – Team Sprint, Individual Sprint, Keirin and Manjeet Singh – Endurance events respectively.
“We have announced our best team for Commonwealth Games 2018 where we are expecting a good show from our cyclists. We don’t have a good track record in Commonwealth Games so far. But this year, our cyclists are in good shape and they will give a good competition to the leading countries like England, Australia and others, Onkar Singh, Secretary General of Cycling Federation of India said,
“If everything goes as per our plan, then Indian Women Cycling Team will increase our overall medal tally”, he added.
The Indian Cycling team set the track on fire during the 38th Senior, 25th Junior Asian Track Cycling Championship, which was held in Nilai by winning all the sprinting events in the Men Junior sections.
The Indian Men Junior cycling team comprising of Esow of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mayur Pawar of Maharashtra and James Singh of Manipur created a new continental cycling track record in sprint event by clocking 46.070 seconds, as against 46.095 seconds earlier created by the Malaysian team and claiming the first gold medal of the Asian Championship.
The junior cycling team outclassed the Japan team in the final on the opening day of the event. Esow, who is just 17 years of age proved the dominance of sprinting event of the Indian team by winning the other two sprinting events of Keirin and Individual Sprint.
He not only created history by winning all three sprinting Olympic events but was the only male cyclist winning three gold medals in the junior category. The feat has been achieved with the Indian team showing complete dominance in the sprinting events in the Asian Continental Championships, which reveals that the future of India cycling very promising.
Pawar was unfortunate when he crashed few meters from the finishing line and slipped to fourth place, missing the bronze medal by a whisker. Danamma from Karnataka also created history by winning the first ever bronze medal in the endurance event of Point Race in Women Junior category.
The performance of few other junior cyclists such as Naman Kapil of Punjab, Mayuri Lute of Maharashtra, who missed medals by a whisker, were all also commendable and all of them have a bright future.
The other encouraging factor in the performance of the Indian team was that all the participants improved their personal timings and set new national records in almost all the events.
The Indian cycling team has come of the age and is looking for bright future ahead and would like to perform well in the next Junior World Championship at Aigle, Switzerland and thus paving the way for the qualification to the Olympic Games in the years to come.