Big-budget cycling competition returns to the country with the national federation hosting the Asian Track Championships, a top-level world body tournament and Olympic ranking point event, from June 18-22 at the state-of-the-art Velodrome in here .
The prestigious continental event, which will be held alongside the Junior and Para-Asian Track Cycling Championships at the Indoor Cycling Velodrome at the IGI Complex, was scheduled to be held in February but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19. It is one of the biggest cycling events in Asia.
“This championship is a UCI (world cycling governing body) Tier 1 event and also a qualifying event for the 2024 Olympics. Points collected from this event will be counted for ranking purposes for the 2024 Olympics,’ Asian Cycling Federation Secretary General Onkar Singh told a news conference.
About 500 cyclists from 20 countries in all sections of elite men, elite women, junior men and junior women will participate in the championships which will take place two and a half years after the last edition in Korea in 2019.
”There will be a record number of participants as this is Asia’s first post-pandemic cycling event. Secondly, this is the first qualifying round for the 2024 Olympics,’ said Singh, who is also the president of the Indian Cycling Federation.
This is the third time that India will host this championship after the 2013 and 2017 editions. But it is the first time that India will host para-cycling track events as part of the Asian event.
But, top female cyclist Deborah Herold will not be seen in action as she does not feature in India’s 42-member squad for the event. The likes of Esow Alben of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Ronaldo Singh of Manipur, who had remained world number one in the junior rankings but will compete at senior level in this championship, will spearhead the Indian challenge.
When asked why Deborah was not in the Indian team, Singh simply replied that the host cyclists would put in a strong performance.
“They are the best team and we expect a strong performance from this team, possibly the best performance ever at Asian level,” he said.
“We are hoping for a medal at the 2024 Olympics,” Singh said, adding that the FCI will propose the establishment of a state-of-the-art cycling academy in a northeastern state modeled on that of the United States. indira. Gandhi interior complex. The sprinters, including Esow and Ronaldo, are currently training in Slovenia while the endurance team were on hand to take part in the shirt launch programme.
The CFI had sent invitations to all member countries of the Asian Cycling Confederation, including Pakistan.
CFI Chairman Parminder Singh Dhindsa said he expected Pakistani cyclists to compete in the championships and hoped “the sport will become a vehicle for friendship”.
”We hope that Pakistan will participate in the championships, we have invited all member countries from Asia. But getting a visa and other things is not in our hands, it’s the decision of the government. It is in the realm of diplomacy.
“But I believe that sport is a vector of friendship, sport should bind people instead of dividing them.” Major cycling nations like China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Iran have already confirmed their participation. Some of the world’s top riders from China, Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia will be vying for the top continental honours. Lee Wai Sze, 35, from Hong Kong, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, will be one of them. Shanju Bao of China, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Games, will also be in contention. Four countries, including India, have also registered their teams for the para events. The other three teams are Japan, Iran and Thailand.
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