The Indian men’s team entered history by becoming the first from the country to qualify for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, an elite Team sprint event. The competition will be held in the German capital Berlin between February 26 to March 1, 2020.
No men’s team from India has ever managed to qualify for the senior world championship that is open to only the top 18 teams across the world to compete.
And the young men to achieve the feat are Esow Alben (19), Jemsh Singh (19), Ronaldo Singh (18) and Rojit Singh (18). These will be representing India in the Team Sprint event.
However, this isn’t for the first time that the cyclists have done the country proud. Earlier in 2016, Indian cyclist Deborah became the first from the country to qualify for the world championship after making a cut for the 2016 World Championships’ women’s 500m time trial event.
The youngsters will be looking to give their best in the event, considering its the last event to gather qualification points for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“It is a huge achievement for the young boys to qualify for senior world championships. We are not worried about where the team will finish this year. The aim is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and we are a step ahead in our goals now by qualifying for the world championships this year,” national coach R. K. Sharma was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“The Olympic cycle will begin in 2022 and by then we hope to collect enough points for a qualification headstart,” he added.
Esow Alben, who hails from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, had bagged a gold medal in the men’s Keirin individual event of the 6 Day Berlin Tournament earlier last month.
The 18-year-old earned 20 classification points by finishing on the top of the podium.