India's Deborah and Manorama Devi on Sunday won a bronze in the team sprint event to give hosts their second medal on the penultimate day of the Hero Asian Cycling Championships here on Sunday.
The pair defeated Malaysia's Faihah Shahwati Mohd Adnan and Nurul Alissa Mohamad Azman by coming home just 0.148 secs ahead of their opponents.
The Indians, who started from the home straight, were quick to pounce on a lead against their counterparts who began from the opposite side (back straight) of the curved track.
Manorama, was little slow as she completed the first lap in 22.243 secs as compared to Malaysia's rider (21.527).
Deborah, however, wrested back the advantage and completed the race with an aggregate of 38.645 secs to bag a podium finish in the junior category while the Malaysian duo took 38.793 secs to finsh the two-lap race.
"I am very happy to have won a medal for the country. Credit goes to my coach Ibomcha Mot-um and my uncle Ingenjao who must be praying for me to do well in Manipur," Manorama said.
Earlier in the day, Faihah and Nurul had qualified with better timings (38.848 secs) as compared to the Indian pair (39.245 secs). "The Malaysian girls were faster than us in the qualifying stage. But, we knew it was going to be touch and go. We had to give it our best shot and I was confident with Deborah by my side," the 16-year old said.
It was only during the preparatory camp for the championships that the Indian pair started practicing together but they were confident of a good show as they had understanding of each others' skills. "The understanding we have between us paid off. We had practised together coming into this championship and at the velodrome here," Deborah said after wining her second bronze medal of the championships.
The gold medal went to Yu Shiou Cheng and Yu Ting Hung of Chinese Taipei (37.219 secs) who set the new Championships record while the Koreans (37.563) had to settle for silver.