India finish on a bitter note in track cycling | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India finish on a bitter note in track cycling

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2010 16:08 IST

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India ended on a disappointing note in track cycling event in the Commonwealth Games as none of the cyclists from the host country could make it to the podium.

However, the Indian cyclists said that they were not too upset with their performances as they got great exposure and experience during the competition.

India participated in three cycling events -- two in men and one in women. Indian men were hardly any match to the likes of Australians, New Zealanders and Malaysians.

Rajender Bishnoi was the sole Indian cyclist in men's scratch race that saw Australia claim both the gold and silver medals, while Canada taking the bronze.

In the team pursuit event, India managed to finish with an impressive time of 50.216 seconds but failed to qualify for the finals, which was a fierce battle between Australia and New Zealand.

It saw Kiwi Sam Webster suffering serious shoulder bruises after a high speed crash near the end of the race on the tracks. Australia managed to bag the gold but Kiwis had to settle for the silver.

In the women's event, New Zealand grabbed its first gold in individual pursuit category of 3 kilometres with Alison Shanks bagging the gold by beating 2008 Olympic silver medallist Northern Ireland's Wendy Houvenaghel with 3:30.875 in the final.

Houvenaghel had to settle for a silver with 3:32.117.

India's Mahita Mohan failed to qualify for the finals with 4:08.441. Mohan's was the best timing among the Indian women cyclists that also included Sunita Devi and PO Sayona.

Mohan was one of the best amongst the women cyclists in the track event and she said that the Games taught her a lot.

"These guys here are professional cyclists and they have a lot of experience in these events. We could practice for just a year but if we could practice like these guys then we will also become strong," said Mohan.

Even India's head coach Chayan Chowdhury felt that this was a learning experience for young Indian cycling team.

"We are the host country and that's why we got a chance to participate. It gave us a chance to judge if our best is enough or not. The team also learned from these cyclists. Also it great for them to ride with the world champions."

While Wales, Canada, England did well in the competition, it was the Aussies, who dominated the medals tally with 17 medals (12 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze). Even their closest competitors New Zealand ended with 10 (1 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze).

Road event in cycling will start on Sunday.