Indian para athletes secured a silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Road Para Cycling Championships 2019 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Monday.
Twenty-eight countries participated in the tournament that ran from April 23 to April 28.
Divij Shah continued his remarkable record at this prestigious tournament by clinching his third consecutive silver medal in the C5 category.
“Feels great to have retained the silver position for the third time. A lot of hard work needs to go in to cover up the gap to get the gold. I have received tremendous support from the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) to make it to the top,” he said.
Asian Para Games bronze medallist Gurlal Singh, who is the only Indian cyclist (able-bodied or otherwise) to win a medal at the Asiad level, grabbed the bronze in the C4 section. Debutant hand cyclist Sudhakar Marathe from Maharashtra won the bronze medal in the H5 category.
Marathe — who met with a train accident in 2017 — had started training only six months ago.
In the last two years, the Indian squad won a silver and a bronze in each edition, courtesy Divij and Harinder Singh.
The entire team had undergone rigorous training at the AMF academy in Hyderabad under the guidance of coach K. Dathatraye and physiotherapist Asha Shaikh.
Mehta — a para cyclist and the founder of AMF — worked closely with the squad. He praised the athletes for the stellar show.
“The athletes showed tremendous grit and determination. The medals are a reward for that. It is still a long way to go and lot of hard work has to go in but am proud of the way the boys responded to the competition with the resources available. I am confident they will achieve their dreams and win Gold for India at the highest platforms soon,” he said.
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