Track Asian Cup Cycling: Deborah takes silver with career-best effort

The 20-year-old fell just short of defending the 500m Time Trial title won last November in the Track Asian Cup here at the Yamuna Velodrome, but clocked her life-best time for an improved National record on way to the silver medal.

Deborah clocked 35.776 to get silver in the 500m Time Trial final event.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Deborah lived up to her growing reputation of being the best cyclist the country. On Wednesday, this 20-year-old may have fallen just short of defending the 500m Time Trial title won last November in the Track Asian Cup here at the Yamuna Velodrome but clocked her life-best time for an improved National record on way to the silver medal.

Though Indians won two gold medals in the junior girls’ section in a haul of six that included three silvers and a bronze, Deborah’s performance in time trial was clearly the best for the host.

Right through this year, this Andaman girl has been clocking in the range of 36-37 seconds. But on this day, she clocked her first sub 36-second time after Korea’s Kim Wong Yeong had put 35.179 on the board.

Deborah, egged on by her teammates and the officials, covered the distance in 35.776 to almost upstage the Korean. In fact, Kim had also won the 2012 Asian junior gold by pushing Deborah to the second spot. “I am confident of going under 33 seconds,” said Deborah whose aim is to be able to “clock 30 seconds in four years, before the next Olympic Games.” In fact, the world record in the event is 32.794 seconds.

Deborah’s previous best — the National record that she improved on this day — stood at 36.643 clocked in this year’s National championship. Last month, she clocked 37.054 in Track Asia Cup in Bangkok and 36.996 in the Taiwan Track International Classic to settle for silver medals. Last year, with the Koreans not in the fray, Deborah won the gold here in 37.250 seconds.

Deborah and Kezia Verghese also failed to defend the Team Sprint title and took the silver behind the formidable Koreans.

Like India, two gold medals also went to Korea and Uzbekistan. But lack of competition in the junior women category saw Amritha Reghunathan, representing Sports Authority of India National Cycling Academy (SAINCA), get the better of official home entry Anu Chutia to give the host a 1-2 finish. Earlier, Anu and Rajesh Nayana made the most of the modest challenge to claim the Team Sprint gold.

The results:

Men: Team Sprint: 1. Iran (46.287); 2. Korea (46.774); 3. Thailand (47.656).

Women: 500m Time Trial: 1. Kim Wong Yeong (Korea) 35.179 seconds; 2. Deborah (Ind) 35.776; 3. Pannaray Rasee (Thai) 38.079; Team Sprint : 1. Korea (Kim Wong Yeong and Kim Soo Jin) 35.835; 2. India (Deborah and Kezia Verghese) 27.913; 3. Thailand (Supuksorn Nuntana and Pannaray Rasee) 21.280;

Junior men: Team Sprint: Uzbekistan (Dilmuradjan Siddikov, Dmitry Ponkratov and Jakhongir Azamov) 50.623; 2. UAE (Ahmede Al Ali, Saiid Suwaidan and Saif Jamil Al Ali) 50.974; 3. India (Emerson, Arkaprava Baul and Ranjith Singh) 51.067; Point Race: 1. Dilmurodjan Siddikov (Uzb) 31 points; 2. Yuttana Mano (Tha) 30; 3. Saiid Suwaidan (UAE) 26.

Junior women: 500m Time Trial: 1. Amritha Reghunathan (SAINCA) 39.927; 2. Anu Chutia (Ind), 40.093; 3. Foorozan Abdohlahi (Iran Suren Team) 40.476; Team Sprint: 1. India (Anu Chutia and Rajesh Nayana) 39.702; 2. Uzbekistan (Anastasiya Ten and Nafosat Kozieva) 41.852; 3. Iran Suren Team (Fatemeh Hadavand and Parastoo Bastidehkharghani) 39.953.