Guwahati, January 16, 2020:

Maharashtra and Odisha have topped the medals tally in cycling event at the Khelo India Youth Games 2020. Pooja Danole and Swasti Singh, representing Maharashtra and Odisha, have marked their presence in cycling event of Khelo India.

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Out of the five medals Pooja bagged in cycling event, four were Gold. The 16-year-old from Maharashtra conquered the 5km Scratch race, the 2000m Individual pursuit, the Individual time trial Road and the Individual Road Race to show her versatility. Pooja also got a bronze in the team sprint.

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While Maharashtra’s domination was an overall team effort, with the medals, spread across events, genders, age groups and cyclists, Odisha relied on just two people to help them in the table. The first of those was the first-ever gold medalist for a Khelo India cycling event, Dinesh Kumar.

Like her fellow Odiya medalist, Swasti Singh is also from Rourkela. “Odisha’s cycling is Rourkela centric. Because that’s where the best coaches are,” Swasti said.

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Swasti started cycling in the 2015 Biju Pattnaik Hockey Stadium under the watchful eyes of Sushil Das and slowly climbed up the ranks. A multiple national champion, Swasti also won bronze in the 2-km individual pursuit for India in the Track Asia Cup Cycling Championship in New Delhi last year.

At the Khelo India Youth Games, much like Pooja, she dominated every event she entered, winning the U-21 3000m Individual pursuit and the 7.5km Scratch race and finishing second in the Road Race.

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