New Delhi, Apr.30:
Indian para-athletes came up with brilliant performance to secure a silver and two bronze medals at the Asian Road para-cycling championships at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Divij Shah continued his remarkable record at this prestigious tournament by clinching his third consecutive silver medal in the C5 category during the April 23-28 tournament, which saw participants from 28 countries vying for top honours.
Asian Para Games bronze medallist Gurlal Singh, who is the only Indian cyclist (able-bodied or otherwise) to win a medal at the Asian Games level, helped swell the country’s medal tally further by grabbing a bronze in the C4 section.
Hand cyclist Sudhakar Marathe from Maharashtra made a memorable debut as he claimed another bronze for India in H5 category.
In the past two years, the Indian contingent won a silver and a bronze medal in each edition through Divij Shah and Harinder Singh respectively.
Shah said it was a great feeling to have retained the silver medal for the third time.
“A lot of hard work needs to go in to cover up the gap to get the gold. I have received tremendous support from Cycling Federation of India (CFI) and Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) to make it to the top,” said Shah.
Marathe, who suffered a train accident in June 2017, had been training for only six months before he got an opportunity to don the Indian jersey.
The entire team had undergone rigorous training at the Aditya Mehta Foundation Academy in Hyderabad under the guidance of coach K Dathatraye and physiotherapist Ms Asha Shaikh.
Mehta, who himself was a para-cyclist and is the founder of Aditya Mehta Foundation, had worked closely with the team, trained and travelled for the Championships.