When the nation entered pandemic-forced lockdown on March 25 last year, Dinesh Gat left Vishwamanya Badminton Academy in Telangana and headed back to his village Karmisar in Bikaner.
JAIPUR: When the nation entered pandemic-forced lockdown on March 25 last year, Dinesh Gat left Vishwamanya Badminton Academy in Telangana and headed back to his village Karmisar in Bikaner. In the process, he left behind one sport for another. With no one for company to play badminton, the 14-year-old followed in the footsteps of his two elder brothers and picked up cycling as a career prospect.
Hardly two months into competitive cycling, Dinesh on Saturday won gold in the U-14 2km individual pursuit event where he recorded a time of 2 minutes, 47 seconds at the 72nd State-Level Cycling Championship here. The performance has earned him a spot in the Rajasthan team that will fly to Telangana to play the National Track Cycling Championship from March 27 to 31.
“It was only after I came back from Hyderabad that I started practicing cycling and was backed by my elder brother. I am happy with my progress and hopefully I will continue doing the good work,” Dinesh told TOI.
The ongoing state championship is his third tournament and previously he participated in the Rajasthan State Road Cycling Championship held in February in Bikaner and in National Road Cycling Championships in Mumbai earlier this month.
Before coming back to Bikaner, Dinesh used to live with his elder brother Jetharam who is posted in Telangana as a senior booking clerk in the Indian Railways. Talking about his younger siblings, Jetharam said that he aims to send his brothers to Delhi for world-class training. “I want them to train at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in Delhi. When I started, I was unaware of all the facilities for the cyclists. Now I am more aware and want my brothers to excel not only at the state and the national level, but even at the international level. Our father is a farmer, so I am the one taking care of all the requirements pertaining to sport for my two brothers,” said the 29-year-old, who is a national medal winner.
Moreover, Vinod Gat, the second of the three brothers, has won silver in the U-18 1km individual time trial event of the ongoing state championship. He covered the distance in 1 minute, 13 seconds.
As it stands, the three brothers will be competing in the forthcoming national championship, but in different age-group categories. While Dinesh and Vinod will represent Rajasthan, Jetharam will turn up for Telangana.
U-16 5km scratch race: 1. Sunil (Bikaner), 2. Ramchandra (Bikaner), 3. Luv (Jaipur).
U-18 1000m individual time trial: 1. Ajay Pal (Bikaner), 2. Vinod Gat (Bikaner), 3. Mahendra Sahran (Bikaner).
U-16 500m individual time trial: 1. Luv Kumar (Jaipur), 2. Vipul Bishnoi (Bikaner), 3. Sandeep Sahran (Bikaner).
U-18 3000m individual pursuit: 1. Mukesh Kaswa (Bikaner), 2. Mahendra Sahran (Bikaner), 3. Ganesh Beniwal (Bikaner).
Men’s 4000m individual pursuit: 1. Sandeep Bishnoi, 2. Birmaram (Bikaner), Praveen Bishnoi (Bikaner).
U-14 2000m individual pursuit: 1. Dinesh Gat (Bikaner), 2. Bajrang Legha (Bikaner), 3. Sagar (Bikaner).