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Para-cyclists aim to sweep all three medals at Asian C'ships

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Naypyidaw (Myanmar): India will aim to repeat its unparallelled feat of securing all three podium finishes at the Asian Para-Cycling Championships, starting on Friday.

Led by Aditya Mehta, India had annexed all three medals on offer during last year's edition in Bahrain. 25-year-old Abhishek Shekhu pocketed the gold, Divij Shah a silver while Harinder Singh bagged the bronze to make it an all-Indian affair.

"We have been preparing for this championship for a long time. It was a well regimented, planned training that should make us favourites this year too," Mehta, who is also the coach of the Indian para-cycling team, said before leaving for Myanmar.

"The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) has approved all our requests and has been really supportive," he added.

The Indian team will be represented by last year's medalists Shah and Singh. Kaigoulal who returned empty-handed last year will give it one more shot this year.

Fresh entrant Gurlal Singh is also expected to be a strong contender after showing great promise at the trials and practice sessions.

Meanwhile, the Indian contingent will also field a strong team in hand cycling, with the duo of Madhu Bagri, a former national wheelchair tennis champion who has recently shifted her focus to para-cycling, and Prashant Arkal leading the charge at the Championships. "We are in top shape and feel really confident as we go into the tournament. I personally will look to change the colour of my medal from silver to gold this time, Shah said.

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