New Delhi, Oct 7 (PTI) Top cyclist Deborah Herold will spearhead the Indian challenge in the 4th Track Asia Cup which will be held at the Indoor Cycling Velodrome at the IG Sports Complex from October 10-12 here.

Besides Deborah, other cyclists who are medal prospects in the 29-member Indian team include Alena Reji, Nayana Rajesh and Sahil Kumar.

The tournament, to be organised by Cycling Federation of India, is a UCI Class-1 graded event and is a part of the World Championship qualifiers. The points attained by a participant will add to the ranking of the individual cyclist.

The event will see participation of 13 teams from 12 Asian countries namely China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Macau China, UAE, Uzbekistan, USA and India.

More than 150 cyclists from different countries will compete in this event for the top honours.

The third edition of this event, hosted by India last year, saw the participation of 12 countries where India finished second with 16 medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver and 7 Bronze).

The Indian team has been training at the SAINCA (SAI National Cycling Academy) at the World Cycling Satellite Centre velodrome where many cyclists from across the globe are being trained.

Also, being the host country, India has decided to field one additional team ‘SAINCA’ in this event to give more and more exposure to young cyclists in the country.

“Cycling in India is growing day by day. Starting from the scratch and having a vision to make India a cycling nation; the Federation has transformed its achievements, which are quite commendable, in such a short span of time,” Cycling Federation of India Secretary General Onkar Singh told reporters.

“I’m concentrating on my events and I will perform my personal best. I’m more confident this time as I won several medals in Asian Indoor Games held recently with good timings,” Deborah, who was also present, said.

“My team mates are also performing well and in a good tune. The things look easier when you perform at a certain level and I’m sure that I will achieve the standards set by my coach,” she added.

Deborah had won three silver medals in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Games in Turkmenistan last month. She secured a silver each in keirin and sprint events. She won another silver in sprint team event with Aleena Reji.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.