It is not for nothing that Bikaner is known as the cycling hub. In the 11 events across age-groups, Bikaner won 26 medals in the two-day 72nd State-Level Cycling Championship that concluded at the SMS Stadium’s cycling velodrome here on Sunday.
JAIPUR: It is not for nothing that Bikaner is known as the cycling hub. In the 11 events across age-groups, Bikaner won 26 medals in the two-day 72nd State-Level Cycling Championship that concluded at the SMS Stadium’s cycling velodrome here on Sunday. Winner of the men’s 10km scratch race Dinesh Kumar too has his roots there, but when he took up cycling, his aim was to get a government job through sports quota.
“There were many people around me who were into cycling. So it was natural to get associated with no other sport but cycling. Initial thought was to get a job, but gradually as I came to know more about cycling, I grew more passionate about it. Soon I became very competitive in my attitude and started winning the medals at both the national and the international platforms,” said the 25-year-old who works as a senior clerk at NF Railways, Maligaon, Guwahati.
Given his financial condition, owning a bicycle was not easy for Dinesh. It was after participating for three years in the nationals that he bought his first track cycle in 2017. “I used the money received from winning the medals at the national level in 2016 to buy a track bicycle. You get rewarded financially for winning only at the national-level, but that’s not the case at the state-level. So I had to wait longer until I won enough to afford a cycle worth Rs 3 lakh ,” the Bikaner cyclist said.
He cited that one has to wait very long as the state government takes a long time to dispense the cash award and it often stretches to more than two years. “If you do not have enough resources to support yourself, it becomes difficult. You think I have won a national medal and the cash reward can be used to buy the equipment, but you still find yourself struggling with finances as it takes more than a couple of years to get the money,” he added. Dinesh has so far won 10 national and two international medals.
Since Railways did not hold trials in his preferred event, Dinesh will this year represent Rajasthan in the National Track Cycling Championship to be held in Telangana between March 27 and 31.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Cycling Association secretary OP Vishwakarma expressed satisfaction on overall successful hosting of the tournament on the basis of which the state team for the nationals will be selected. The secretary added that if Rajasthan State Sports Council (RSSC) will expedite the process of signing the MoU with the association, it will help them maintain the velodrome well.
Men’s 10km scratch race: 1. Dinesh Kumar, 2. Rajesh Jat, 3. Praveen.
Men’s 1000m individual time trial: 1. Devendra, 2. Ramdayal, 3. Maniraj.
U-16 2000m individual pursuit: 1. Kapil, 2. Khetaram, 3. Sunil Jat.
U-18 10km scratch race: 1. Ayush Jhakhar, 2. Dinesh, 3. Parmaram.
U-14 500m individual time trial: 1. Dinesh, 2. Sagar Jat, 3. Sooraj Gehlot.