India’s Ronaldo Laitonjam continued his impressive run, creating an Asian record while also winning a gold medal at the Track Asia Cup cycling competition here on Tuesday.
After winning two gold medals on day one on Monday, the junior world champion team member created an Asian record in men’s junior 200m time trial event and later won a gold medal in the junior men’s sprint event on Tuesday.
Ronaldo clocked 10.065 seconds in the qualifying round of 200m time trial to break the previous record held by China’s Liu Qi who had completed the race in 10.149 seconds in 2018.
“Qualifying for the finals was in my mind but when I saw the score, I was surprised and happy,” Ronaldo said after breaking the record.
“Juniors are doing well and many more records will break in the coming years. Our team is preparing hard and the results are coming forward,” coach RK Sharma said.
The medal rush continued for India as they grabbed 10 more medals — 4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze — on Day 2 after winning 12 medals on day one at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium.
The Cycling Federation of India event was dominated by the host country last year and the same story is unfolding this year also.
The 17-year-old Ronaldo dominated the junior men’s sprint final and led the race to finish at the top of the podium. Rojit Singh won the silver for India to add another medal. Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Safarov claimed the bronze medal.
Ronaldo was not the only star of day two. Two-time Junior World Championships medallist Esow Alben won a gold medal in the elite men’s sprint event with a dominant performance. He had finished behind Tsz Chun Law of Hong Kong in the qualifying round but avenged it in the final. Amarjeet Singh Nagi of India finished third.
If the start to the second day was record breaking, Venkappa Shiv Kengalgutti made it even more memorable as he won the gold medal in the junior men’s 3 km individual pursuit, clocking 3.30: 106 minutes.
It was a 1-2 finish for India in the event as Mula Ram, representing India’s second team SAINCA, won the silver medal. The bronze medal went to Iran’s Labib Ali.
Triyasha Paul and Nikita Nisha gave India a 1-2 finish in the junior women’s sprint event and added two more medals to India’s tally. Paul and Nisha had won medals on day one as well.
On day two, in the elite men’s 4km individual pursuit event, India’s Punam Chand captured the silver medal, falling just short against Malaysia’s Mohammad Zamri who won the gold medal.
But it was a double delight for Indian elite women’s 3km individual pursuit race as Elangbam Devi and Irungbam Devi gave a silver-bronze finish in the event.
In the gold medal race, Elangbam clocked 4.02:345 minutes. She was beaten by Uzbekistan’s Renata Baymetova who clocked 3.53:120 seconds. The bronze medal was won by Irungbam Devi who clocked 4:01.398 minutes to beat Alyona Abramchuk of Kazakhstan.
India’s second team — Sports Authority of India National Cycling Academy — won its first medal when Swasti Singh won the bronze in junior women’s 2km individual pursuit.
Harshveer Singh suffered a disappointing end in the elite men’s 15km scratch race as he failed to finish on the podium. In a world class field, the Indian finished fifth as the gold was captured by Muhammad Shaari of Malaysia.
Denis Burnashov and Alexandr Bekenov, both from Kazakhstan, won the silver and bronze medals respectively.