New Delhi: The Cycling Federation of India, on Friday announced the nine-member (five women and four men) team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which is scheduled to be held in Gold Coast, Australia.
The team has been named keeping in mind their performances at the Asian Track Cycling Championship held in Malaysia from February 16 to 21, where India clinched a total of four medals (three gold and one bronze).
Onkar Singh, the Secretary General of the Cycling Federation of India said that they had put together the best team for the competition and he expects them to put up strong performances against heavyweights like Australia and England.
“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,” he said.
Esow, Danamma makes history at the 25th Junior Asian Track Cycling Championship
The Indian team had put up a great show at the 38th Senior, 25th Junior Asian Track Cycling Championship held in Nilai, in Malaysia. Winning all the sprinting events in the Men’s Junior section, the cycling team comprised of Esow from Andaman and Nicobar, Mayur Pawar from Maharashtra and James Singh from Manipur clocked 46.070 seconds, which is a new continental track record.
They bettered the record of 46.095 seconds set by the Malaysian team and clinched the first gold medal of the Asian Championship.
The Indian juniors outplayed the Japanese team in the final, which was held on the opening day of the competition. Seventeen-year-old Esow showcased his exceptional talent in the sport, winning the Keirin and individual sprinting events.
The youngster had not only etched his name in history by winning all three Olympic events but also became the only male cyclist to win three gold medals in the junior category.
Danamma from Karnataka also created history when she won the first ever bronze medal in the endurance event of point race in the women’s junior category.
Pawar however was unfortunate to have missed out on a podium finish after he missed the bronze medal by a whisker, crashing few metres from the finishing line. Even Mayuri Lute from Maharashtra missed out on a medal. Naman Kapil of Punjab too performed well.
Also the fact that all the participants under the tutelage of chief coach RK Sharma, in the Indian team improved on their personal records and set new national records signal a bright future for Indian cycling in the years to come.
If they keep on performing the way they’ve done so far, then the Indian team can be regarded as strong contenders for the title at the Junior World Championship in Aigle, Switzerland, which would, in turn pave the way for an Olympic qualification.
The nine-member team for the Commonwealth Games:
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, Indivial Time Trial 1000m, Sahil Kumar – Team Sprint, Keirin, Sanuraj P – Team Sprint, Individual Sprint, Keirin, Manjeet Singh – Endurance events