The Indian men’s cycling team on Thursday created history when they secured qualification for the elite Team event at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships which will be held in Berlin next year.

This is the first time that the men’s team has qualified for the senior World Championship, where the top 18 teams take part. This will be the last event where athletes can vie for points which will help them qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

A young team comprising Esow Alben (19), Jemsh Singh (19), Rojit Singh (18), and Ronaldo Singh (18) will represent India in the Team Sprint event.

Deborah was the first Indian to qualify for the world championship when she made the cut for the 2016 championship in the women’s 500m time trial event.

National coach RK Sharma lavished praise on the young brigade. “It is a huge achievement for the young boys to qualify for senior world championships. We are not worried about where the team will finish this year. The aim is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and we are a step ahead in our goals now by qualifying for the world championships this year,” he was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

“The Olympic cycle will begin in 2022 and by then we hope to collect enough points for a qualification headstart,” he said.

Time Trial, Madison, Individual Pursuit, Team Pursuit, Scratch Race, Sprint, Team Sprint, Omnium, Keirin, and Points Race are the other events where athletes can hope to secure Olympic qualification.