New Delhi: As India is closing on to the start of the third Track Asia Cup, scheduled at the capital during 14th-16th September 2016, the Indian team is gearing up for the challenge against the athletes from the participating 11 countries.
As a host, India has been also allowed to get in an extra team of cyclists, taken by the young cyclists who have been under training at the SAINCA. There are about 12 countries participating in the event including India, which are Iran, UAE, Kazakhastan, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia and arch rival Pakistan, who were not a part of the event in 2015.
India’s Star Cyclist Deborah Herold, who suffered an injury last year, still managed to grab 5 medals, is all set to bring cheers and accolades for the country this time around. India went down to 11 medals in 2014 after 18 medals in 2014. Herold, who won, 5 gold medals will lead the team which will try to get back on track to the best of best in the world.
The junior stalwart Sahil Kumar, who is currently ranked No 6 in the world and has formerly won the Asia Cup in Bangkok, will unfortunately miss the event due to an injury caused during the training yesterday.
Speaking about the team combination and expectations from the cyclists, Coach R.K. Sharma said, “Our target this year will be majorly to improve our medal tally from last year. This year Indian cyclists will face more competition since the countries taking part have also risen to 12. Deborah, undoubtedly is our key athlete and our hopes rest on her, however this time we can expect a lot of medals from the junior team as well, who are very talented and passionate about the sport. We have a bigger contingent this year, and thus our hopes in the medal tally have also increased.”
Adding about Sahil Kumar whom India will be missing out, thanks to an injury caused during the training session, coach Sharma said, “ It is very unfortunate that our star performer will not be able to take part in this year’s event, we will definitely miss him. But injury is a major part of any sport, we will hope that Sahil recovers fast and can join us for the next championship.”