Deborah to lead Indian challenge in Asian Track Cycling

Ace cyclist Deborah Herold will lead the 35-member Indian team to take part in the 37th Asian Track cycling championships which will be held in New Delhi.

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Deborah, who is competing in 200m sprint, 500m time trial and keirin individual events, is the biggest name among the Indian cyclists taking part in the championship to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium velodrome.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Ace cyclist Deborah Herold will lead the 35-member Indian team to take part in the 37th Asian Track cycling championships which will be held here from February 6 to 10.

Deborah, who is competing in 200m sprint, 500m time trial and keirin individual events, is the biggest name among the Indian cyclists taking part in the championship to be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium velodrome here.

The 21-year-old cyclist from Andaman and Nicobar has won medals in the Track Asia Cups in 2014 and 2016 which were held at the same venue here. She is currently ranked sixth in the world in women’s elite time trial event.

She had won a medal when the last edition of continent’s flagship event was held here in 2013. She competed in the junior category then. Manorama Devi had won India’s second medal in that edition.

The Indian junior team is currently ranked No.1 in the world in team sprint event. The 24th edition of Junior Asian Track Championship will also be held simultaneously.

“I don’t say I am the best, but I will do my best,” Deborah said.

Nearly 500 cyclists from 18 Asian countries will take part in the championship which is being held in the country for the third time after 2005 and 2013, all having held here at the same venue.

Pakistan is not taking part in the championships due to financial constraints.

“We invited Pakistan but their cyclists are not taking part in this championship. They said they have financial constraints. Their officials are coming here for the meeting of Asian officials but their team is not taking part in the event,” Cycling Federation of India Secretary General Onkar Singh said at the press conference to announce the championships here.

The event, which is an UCI (International Cycling Union) Class I championship, will see participation from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan and hosts India.