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Kerala girl Aleena bags bronze in Asian Cycling

Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017,10:50 IST By joji A A A

New Delhi | Deborah Herold missed out on a podium finish but India added another bronze through Aleena Reji, who won her second medal in a national record time to emerge as the star performer of the host country on the second day of the Asian Track Cycling Championships here Tuesday.

Kerala girl Aleena bagged the bronze medal in the junior women 500m time trial event after clocking 37.439 seconds to add to her first bronze, which she had won in the team sprint on the opening day yesterday at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium velodrome.

In the process, she broke her own national junior 500m time trial record of 37.80 seconds.

India have won two bronze — both by Aleena — in the championships so far to be at ninth spot in the medal tally.

“I am very happy to win a bronze today. This is my second medal in the championships and I have not thought I will do like this. This is my personal best in this time trial event,” Aleena told PTI after her race.

“I won a silver in the Track Asia Cup here last year but this (Asian Championships) is a much bigger event and I have not thought that I would win a bronze in 500m time trial in the Asian Championships,” she added.

The gold medal went to Chao Yue Shen of China who clocked 35.291 seconds while Seolhwa Jeong of Korea claimed the silver with a timing of 36.35 seconds.

India’s biggest medal hope from the women elite events, Deborah, however, had to be content with a fourth-place finish in her favourite 500m time trial event finals despite coming up with her personal best and national record time of 35.367 seconds.

She finished fourth behind 2012 Olympic medallist Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong, who clocked 34.204 seconds for the gold, Sunyong Cho (35.224 seconds) of Korea and Li Xue Mei (35.271 seconds) of China.

Deborah said she would try to leave this disappointment behind as soon as possible and focus on doing well in the two World Cups coming up — in Colombia and USA.

She also said that she was looking at the arrival of customised cycles made for her from England to do better at the World Cups.