Asian Track Cycling: India wins first-ever medal

The Indian junior women's team of Alena Reji and Shushikala Agashe bagged bronze, defeating a strong Korean team by 36.735 seconds to create cycling history.

Shushikala Aghashe (left) and Anela Reji won India's only medal on Day One of the Asian Track Cycling Championships here on Monday.

Indian cyclists won their first-ever medal in the team sprint event of the competition on the opening day of the 37th Asian Track Cycling Championship at the Indira Gandhi velodrome here on Monday.

The Indian junior women's team of Alena Reji and Shushikala Agashe bagged bronze, defeating a strong Korean team by 36.735 seconds to create cycling history. Alena, though, who made her international debut only in September last year at the same venue during the Track Asia Cup, was disappointed at having stumbled in the qualifying round and missing a silver but was satisfied with the duo's overall performance.

“I’m not happy with my performance today. We missed the mark during qualifying and let go of a gold or silver and had to fight it out for the bronze. But it is satisfying to defeat such a strong opponent as Korea to win this medal,” she said.

That, however, was the only high point for the host on Day One even as China, Korea and Kazakhstan dominated the competition. Bidyaluxmi T. Devi was disqualified due to injury in the elite points race 20km event while among the men, the junior and elite teams were placed seventh and eighth respectively in the qualifying for the Team Sprint.

Kazakh cyclist Veronika Myrxina won the women's juniors points race (10km) to bag the first gold medal of the championship before Svetlava Pachshenko won the women juniors’ Omnium event with 145 points to wrap the day with another gold for Kazakhstan.

The results:

Men: Juniors Team Sprint: 1. Japan (46.936s), 2. Korea (47.244s), 3. Kazakhstan (47.852s); Elite Team Sprint: 1. China (44.913s), 2. Iran (45.765s), 3. Japan (45.765s).

Women: Juniors Points Race 10km: 1. Veronika Myrxina (Kaz, 28 pts), 2. Haneul Koh (Kor, 28 pts), 3.Yuka Matsui (Jpn, 18 pts); Team Sprint: 1. China (35.819s), 2. Taipei (36.623s), 3. India (36.677s); Omnium: 1. Svetlana Pachshenko (Kaz, 145 pts), 2. Minhwa Kim (Kor, 144 pts), 3. Yumena Hosoya (Jpn, 137 pts).

Elite Points Race 20km: 1. Yumi Kajihara (Jpn, 24 pts), 2. Li Huang (Chn, 24 pts), 3. Youri Kim (Kor, 17 pts).

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