Cycling National Championship: H. Deborah to be the star attraction

Deborah, who was once ranked fourth in the world, will take part in her favourite 500m sprint event and will spearhead Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ challenge in the meet. Lidyamol, V. Rajani, Kezia Varghese are some of the internationals who will be seen in action during the five-day meet.

H. Deborah is the only Indian to take part in the World cycling championship.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

H. Deborah, the only Indian to take part in the World cycling championship, will be the star attraction when 69th National track cycling championship begins at the velodrome at LNCPE Kariyavattom on Wednesday.

Deborah, who was once ranked fourth in the world, will take part in her favourite 500m sprint event and will spearhead Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ challenge in the meet. Lidyamol, V. Rajani, Kezia Varghese are some of the internationals who will be seen in action during the five-day meet.

In the men’s section, institution teams — Railways, Services and BSNL — are expected to dominate but they will face threat from cyclists from Punjab and Maharashtra.

In the women’s section, Andamans, host Kerala, Maharashtra and Manipur are expected to vie for top honours.

Kerala faces threat

The Kerala women who won the title last year will be hard pressed to retain the title this year. Kerala is without Mahita Mohan who has retired from cycling. Veteran V. Rajani has come out of retirement to compete in this meet. The host expects Lidyamol and Kezia Varghese to come good.

The junior and sub-junior nationals which are held along with the senior championship will be a battle between cyclists from Andamans and Manipur. The cyclists from these two States form majority of the trainees at the National Cycling Academy in New Delhi and they are expected to dominate the events.

The meet will also act as trials for selecting the Indian team for the Asian cycling championship which will be held in New Delhi in February next year. The Kerala Sports Minister A.C. Moideen will inaugurate the meet.