Indian Cyclists Face Tough Challenge at Asian Track Cycling Championships 2024

The recently concluded Asian Track Cycling Championships 2024 in New Delhi proved to be a challenging endeavor for the elite Indian cycling team, as they were unable to secure any medals despite high hopes and rigorous training. The championships, which served as the final qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics, witnessed a contingent of 22 Indian cyclists, including notable names like Ronaldo Singh, David Beckham, Esow Alben, and Rojit Singh.

In a stark contrast to the 2022 edition held in the same city, where Indian cyclists clinched nine medals – one silver and eight bronze – this year’s performance fell short of expectations. Meenakshi, participating in the women’s pursuit event, displayed exceptional skill and determination by setting a national record time of 3:42.515 in the qualifying round. Although narrowly missing out on a medal, finishing fourth with a timing of 1:18.154, her performance highlighted India’s potential in the cycling arena.

Ronaldo Singh, a silver medalist at the 2023 championships, faced tough competition this year, finishing fifth in the 1km individual time trial with a timing of 1:02.617. Despite commendable efforts, he fell short of securing a podium finish. Similarly, David Beckham, a key member of the bronze medal-winning Indian men’s sprint team in 2022, exited the competition in the round of 16.

While the elite team faced challenges, the championships also featured junior and para track cycling categories. India’s junior and para teams showcased remarkable performances, clinching a total of 18 medals – nine gold, six silver, and three bronze. Para-cyclists notably secured eight gold medals and four silvers, highlighting their outstanding prowess on the track.

In a notable achievement, India’s Harshita Jakhar secured the bronze medal in the women’s junior madison category on the final day of the event. Jakhar’s impressive performance adds to her silver medal in the individual pursuit and bronze medal in the team pursuit earlier in the competition.

Despite the challenges faced by the elite team, India’s junior and para-cycling contingents have demonstrated exceptional talent and promise, reflecting the nation’s growing stature in the sport.

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