Hong Kong’s Yao Pang continued her dream run at the Hero Cycles Asian cycling championship by bagging her fifth gold medal in the women’s junior road race on Friday. Pang has won three track and two road events till now.
India also had much to cheer about at the Buddh International Circuit as birthday girl G. Manisha finished sixth, a minute and 46 seconds behind the Hong Kong cyclist. This is the host’s best performance in road racing at this year’s championship.
The 18-year-old engineering student from Coimbatore slipped from the peloton to the second group of riders after three laps. Though the second bunch did catch up with the first, the top three riders broke away with around two km left.
Manisha, however, did well to lead the second group and missed a top five spot by just four seconds.
But the teenager was satisfied by her performance. “I was initially afraid as this was my first international race. But I feel so proud now and want to finish in the top three next time. Since this is a qualifying tournament for the Olympics, I hope this performance will help my chances of participating and winning a medal.”
Japan’s Kiyoka Sakaguchi and Razan Soboh of Jordan came second and third, respectively, while India’s N. Geeturaj finished 14th.
Earlier in the day, Kazakhstan’s supremacy in road cycling continued as Yerlan Pernebkov won the men’s junior 99.4-km long road race in two hours, 18 minutes and 12 seconds.
The second place went to Pernebkov’s compatriot and individual time trial winner Dmitriy Rive.
In fact, Kazakhstan narrowly missed out on a clean sweep as Maxim Shtyrbulov was pipped to the post by Japan’s Saya Kuroeda.
Interestingly, as the Kazakh crossed the finish line, he prematurely raised his arms in elation before dropping them on his head at the realisation that he was beaten to the third spot by Kuroeda.
Kishor Jadhav was the lone Indian to finish this race by claiming the 34th place, around 17 minutes behind Pernebkov.
The men’s under-23 and women’s road races will be held on Saturday, the penultimate day of the championship.
The results: Junior: Men: Individual road race (99.4 km): 1. Yerlan Pernebekov (Kaz) 2:18:12s; 2. Dmitriy Rive (Kaz) 2:18:12; 3. Saya Kuroeda (Jpn) 2:19:30.
Women: Individual road race (71 km): 1. Yao Pang (Hkg) 1:48:12; 2. Kiyoka Sakaguchi (Jpn) 1:49:51; 3. Razan Soboh (Jor) 1:49:51.