India is assured of winning its second medal at the Hero Cycles Asian cycling championship after Deborah booked her place in the gold medal match of the women’s junior sprint on Saturday.
The 19-year-old will compete against South Korea’s Yeon Hee Jang in the summit clash on Monday at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex Velodrome here.
Speaking to the media after defeating Malaysia’s Farihah Shahwati Mohammad Adnan in her last four contest, Deborah said: “I was determined to win and didn’t fear her (Adnan) because if I fear my opponent, my chances will recede.”
Unaffected by pressure
The teenager added that she was unaffected by the pressure brought upon her by the bronze medal win in the women’s junior 500m time trial, but is slightly nervous ahead of the final.
Unfortunately, none of the other Indian cyclists came close to matching Deborah’s success on the third day of the championship.
In the scratch events, Mahitha Mohan could only claim the sixth spot while Deepak Kumar Rahi didn’t even finish the men’s race.
India’s poor performance continued in the Omnium competition too as, after three rounds, Shahbaaz Singh Bhangu was at the bottom of the pack, and the penultimate position in the women’s event was occupied by V.G. Parvathy.
Moreover, Alan Baby (men’s junior sprint) and Amarjeet Singh Negi (men’s sprint) crashed out of their respective events in the repechage and the round-of-16.
Meanwhile, South Korea established a runaway lead at the top of the medals tally by winning all the four events on Monday.
It began the day by setting a new Asian record in the women’s 4km team pursuit as it finished the gold medal match in around four minutes and 41.5 seconds to defeat Japan.
Incidentally, the previous record of 4:46.619 was posted by the South Korean team too, in the qualifying round on Friday.
Later, the women riders’ record-setting achievement was almost emulated by their male counterparts as the latter set a championship record timing of 4:10.689 seconds, erasing their previous milestone which was again established in Friday’s qualification.
South Korea now has seven gold medals in its kitty, in addition to a solitary silver.
In a remarkable development outside the arena, cyclists from Pakistan and Iraq are now expected to participate in the championship after their visas were finally cleared by the Indian authorities.
The results: Men: 4km team pursuit: 1. South Korea; 2. Japan; 3. Hong Kong.
15km scratch: 1. Ho Sung Cho (Kor); 2. Hossein Neteghi (Iran); 3. Chin Feng Liu (Tpe).
Women: 4km team pursuit: 1. South Korea; 2. Japan; 3. China.
10km scratch: 1. Eun Hee Kim (South Korea); 2. Hsiao Chia Tseng (Chinese Taipei); 3. Xingyu Gong (China).