Asian C’ship: Deborah impresses, Korea tops table

Deborah slipped on the final lap of the 2km Keirin final to miss out on a medal, but claimed the gold medal in the 200m sprint, in the Track Asia Cup cycling championship.

Deborah reacts after claiming the gold medal at the women's 200m final sprint.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Just when in sight of a possible second gold medal of the final day, home favourite Deborah Herold slipped on the final lap of the 2-km Keirin final in the Track Asia Cup cycling championship here on Friday.

A wave of shock and dismay swept the Yamuna Velodrome when Deborah lost her balance in her bid to overtake teammate Kezia Vargheese, around 30 metres from the finish-line. As Deborah slipped, Thailand’s Pannaray Rasee who was following the two Indians, also lost control and fell on her shoulders.

Till this point, the home team’s strategy of Kezia setting the pace for Deborah seemed to be working fine. Once Deborah fell and Kezia’s concentration was lost, the two Koreans Kim Wong Yeong and Cho Sun Young, lurking around Deborah, seized their opportunity and gave their country a 1-2 finish. Thailand’s Supuksorn Nuntana settled for the bronze.

A dejected Deborah, at the insistence of chief coach R. K. Sharma, symbolically finished the race by carrying her bike across the finish-line. However, Rasee was rushed to the hospital with a suspected collar-bone fracture.

Earlier in the day, Deborah won her only gold of the competition in the 200-metre sprint. In all, the three Indian teams — including SAINCA and Western India Team — collected four gold, four silver and six bronze medals.

However, the Indian men drew a blank. The ladies, thanks mainly to Deborah, collected a gold medal and two silvers. Due to lack of serious competition, the Indian junior men added three bronze while the junior women won two gold, a silver and two bronze medals. As expected, Korea topped with six gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Later, the World Cycling Centre (WCC) Satellite India was inaugurated here, with the International Cycling Union, Cycling Federation of India and the Sports Authority of India as partners. Though there are 181 nations affiliated to the world body, this is only the third such centre. The other centres are in Japan and Korea.

The results:

Men: Sprint (200-metre): (for gold): Jin Won Gu (Kor) beat Ali Askari (Iran); (for bronze): Kim Jung Yeal (Kor) beat Farshid Fasinejadian (Iran); 4-km Team Pursuit: Korea (4:11.017); 2. Astana-Kazakhstan (4:19.320); 3. Hong Kong (4:20.767); Keirin (2-km): 1. Mohammad Daneshvarkhorram (Iran), 2. Ali Askari (Iran), 3. Jun Won Gu (Kor); Point Race (30-km): 1. Nikita Panassenko (Astana-Kazakshtan) 105 points; 2. Timur Gumerov (Uzbekistan) 73; 3. Lau Wan Yau Vincent (Hkg) 52.

Women: Sprint (200-metre): (for gold): Deborah Herold (India) beat Cho Sun Yong (Kor); (for bronze): Kim Soo Jin (Kor) beat Kezia Vargheese (India); Kieren (2-km): 1. Kim Wong Yeong (Kor), 2. Cho Sun Young (Kor), 3. Supuksorn Nuntana (Tha).

Junior Men: Sprint (200-metre): (for gold): Thanawat Uraikit (Thailand) beat Saiid Suwaidan (UAE); (for bronze): Emerson (India) bt Arkaprova Baul (India); Team Pursuit (4-km): 1. Uzbekistan (4:49.630), 2. UAE (4:42.679); India (3:36.419).

Junior Women: Sprint (200-metre) (for gold): 1. Rajesh Nayana (India) beat Fatemeh Hadavand (Iran Suren Team); (for bronze): Anu Chutia (India) bt Parastoo Bastidehkharghani (Iran Suren Team).

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