Asian Cycling: Indian junior girls create history with sprint team gold - Hindustan Times
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Asian Cycling: Indian junior girls create history with sprint team gold

By, New Delhi
Feb 21, 2024 10:55 PM IST

Besides the gold medal, India added two silver and one bronze medals to make a bright start to the championships

India's women's junior cycling team gave a fabulous performance outpacing South Korea to win gold in the sprint event on the opening day of the Asian Track Cycling Championships at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here.

India's women's junior sprint team members -- Sabina Kumari, Sarita Kumari, Zaina, Niya Sebastian (left to right) -- which won gold.(CFI)
India's women's junior sprint team members -- Sabina Kumari, Sarita Kumari, Zaina, Niya Sebastian (left to right) -- which won gold.(CFI)

Besides the gold medal, India added two silver and one bronze medals to make a bright start to the championships.

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The women's junior team, comprising Sarita Kumari, Niya Sebastian, Zaina Mohammed Ali Pirkhan and Sabina Kumari created history beating Korea with an impressive timing of 53.383s to win gold in the team sprint event.

"It is like a dream-come-true for us to beat the strongest team of Asia at home. We could do it because of our team work and support of our coaches," said Sarita.

"We finished sixth last year and we worked very hard in these 12 months. We have worked on our speed, strength and conditioning. We were confident of winning a medal here but to win a gold is very special for all of us. This was a big opportunity as the championships was happening at home and therefore we wanted to give our best," said Sarita, who hails from Jharkhand.

The men's junior team of Narayan Mahto, Syed Khalid Baghi, and Mayanglambam Wattaba Meitei won silver (47.936s) facing tough competition from the Korean team.

The women junior team of Harshita Jakhar, Suhani Kumari, Dhanyadha JP, and Bhumika, won a bronze in a tightly contested team pursuit event, getting the better of Chinese Taipei cyclists. South Korea and Kazakhstan won the gold and silver medals respectively.

"It was a neck-to-neck fight and we are happy that we were able to clinch the bronze," said Dhanyadha.

The para-cycling team further bolstered India's medal tally in the para team sprint event as Arshad Shaikh, Jalaluddin Ansari, and Basavaraj Horaddi, clinched silver.

Indian senior team featuring the likes of Esow Alben, Rojit Singh, and Ronaldo Singh will be expected to bring home medals in the senior category. There are nearly 500 riders from 18 countries, including Olympics and world championships medallists, competing in the tournament which is also an Olympic qualification event. India is fielding a strong contingent of 42 cyclists.

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