India’s Keirin cyclists David Beckham Elkatohchoongo, Ronaldo Laitonjam, Rojit Singh, and Esow Alban will be heading out to France for their first Senior Cycling World Championships after making waves in the junior categories and winning bronze in the Asian Team Sprint in June.

The Indian cyclists will compete at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships slated to begin on October 12, at the Velodrome National de Saint- Quentin in Paris. The tournament that is held annually features different cycling events for both men and women.

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The Indian contingent will be making their debut at the Senior World Championships this year. The cyclists made their place in the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham after a hectic international program that saw them move from one race to the next in pursuit of ranking points to qualify for the CWG.

Ronaldo Laitonjam, David Beckham Elkatohchoongo, Y Rojit Singh, and Esow Alban have been India’s much-vaunted crop of young cyclists trying to bring glory to themselves and the nation in a sport that isn’t fancied much in the sub-continent. While the first two have been in the limelight, especially for their names, the entire contingent has proved their mettle in the junior category.

The youngsters were thrown into the shallow waters of the CWG, and navigating the perilous transition to the senior category wasn’t easy. At the CWG, the young cyclists could not showcase their true potential as they might have been intrigued by the massive occasion. The fierce competition from the British, Australian, and Malaysian cyclists saw them bow out early from the Games. However, the experience from the elite competition would have made them better prepared for the World Championships.

In June, the Indian cyclists secured medals at the Asian Championships. Ronaldo Laitonjam, David Beckham, and Rojit Singh combined in the Men’s team sprint to bring home a bronze medal for the country. Ronaldo secured individual bronze in Men’s 1km time trial and silver in the individual sprint, clocking astounding times.

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At the World Championship, the Indian Team Sprint squad will attempt to improve on their time of 44.625s and secure a podium finish. A medal would give them crucial points to get into the top 8 nations to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

As a result, this year’s World’s is all about accumulating ranking points. The city is a promise of a future in the limelight in two years and the Indian cyclists will be competing in the mega-event if they get things right in the World Championships.

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By Dipak

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