National Mountain Bike Championship: Soman celebrates captaincy debut with two golds
Captaining the Maharashtra side for the first time, cyclist Pranita Soman clinched two gold medals on the second day of the 17th senior, junior and sub-junior National Mountain Bike Championship, Gadag, Karnataka on Saturday.
The first gold medal came for Soman in the XCT (individual time trial ) race with the timing of 51 minutes 46.165 seconds. Silver and bronze medals went to Joysna Narzay, Karnataka (56 minutes and 39.302 seconds) and state girl Priyanka Karande (57 minutes 06.148 seconds) respectively.
The second gold medal was the team gold as it came in the mixed relay (18.4km race distance) event which was introduced to the nationals for the first time.
Soman along with teammates Priyanka Karande, Vitthal Bhosle and Bheem Rokaya completed the event in one hour, five minutes and 1.223 seconds.
The second and third position went to Karnataka (One hour, six minutes and 43.096 seconds ) and Uttarakhand (One hour, 13 minutes and 6.689 seconds)
A 20-year-old Soman from Sangamner district, Ahmednagar prefer to spend the offseason in Pune to master her skills in mountain biking.
“I practice with Gautam Taode at the Arai tekdi (hill) and Pashan tekdi (hill). The session is generally of one or two months,” said Soman who will be taking part in one more event - XCO (Mass start race).
In 2019, Soman won silver medals in XCT and XCO events in nationals held at Uttarakhand.
“I wanted to change the colour of my medal to gold from silver that is what my focus was. I am happy to achieve two gold medals today and will try to continue the same performance in XCO (mass start race),” said Soman.
While most athletes suffered due to the 2020 pandemic year, for Soman it was contrast as she practised hard on a stationary bicycle which has improved her strength.
“I took the 2020 year in a positive way and devoted complete time for fitness and training. I was in regular touch with my coaches Mitten Thakker and Gautam Taode via online sessions,” added Soman.
Captainship is the new responsibility
“I need to manage which is not a hard task. Proper guidance to juniors helps them to improve their performance. Girls keep on asking me a few things which I tell them. I also share my experiences especially all those which I have got while participating in previous tournaments,” added Soman.
Maharashtra was the runner up in the 2019 Nationals behind Karnataka.
“Karnataka and Kerala are the most competitive states when it comes to cycling. Karnataka being host is practicing on this track since the last one month while we had two days of practice,” added Soman.
Pune cyclist won three medals
Cyclists from the city have a reason to cheer as three cyclist from Pune won medals in respective categories in the ongoing 17th senior, junior and sub-junior National Mountain Bike Championship, Gadag, Karnataka
In the youth boys’ category, Adeep Wagh won the gold medal in the individual time trial event (10km 4laps) with the timings of 31 minutes and 21.015 seconds.
The silver and bronze medals went to Samaroan Jain, Karnataka (30min.26.282 seconds) Malav Dutta, Assam (31min. 25.851 sec) in youth boys.
The other two medals came in the youth girls’ category, individual time trial event (10km 4laps).
Pune girls Siddhi Shirke and Shravani Parit finished first and second on the podium.
Shirke secured first place with a timing of 35 minutes 40.863 seconds while Parit finished with a timing of 38 minutes 25.227 seconds. The bronze medal went to Chaya Nagashetti, Karnataka (40 mins 18.372 seconds).