Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh (left) felicitating cyclist Ronaldo Laitonjam in Imphal on Sunday Credit: Twitter

Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Sunday felicitated star cyclist Ronaldo Laitonjam Singh, the junior world champion, at his Babupara office in Imphal.

Soon after the meeting, the CM took to his official Twitter handle and wrote: “Another World No. 1 from Manipur, the Powerhouse in Sports!”.

“Felicitated cyclist Ronaldo Laitonjam, World No. 1 Junior in all three sprint events, at my office by awarding him financial assistance, and blessings in all his future competitions,” he added.

Laitonjam attained a ranking of World No1 with his stellar performance in all four sprinting events such as individual sprint, Keirin and Time trial in the latest World UCI 2020 ranking.

He is also part of the Indian team which became world champions in the team sprint event, it said.

With 1530 points in Sprint, Laitonjam is the first athlete from the Northeast region to have achieved such remarkable cycling feat. After Esow Alben from Andaman & Nicobar Islands who has now advanced to the senior level, the young professional cyclist from Manipur has become the second Indian athlete to top the UCI world rankings.

At the Asian Cycling Championships held in South Korea’s Seoul in October last year, Laitonjam grabbed the attention of everyone after he took home two gold in 200 metres and Keirin event, silver in 1 km time trial and bronze in the team sprint in men juniors.

The same year, the ace cyclist made a historic win by bagging a gold in the men’s team sprint event alongside country’s track cyclists Esow Alben, Jemsh Singh and Rohit Singh at the 2019 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Germany.

The 17-year-old cyclist from Manipur’s Wangkhei Leikai in Imphal East also won four gold medals in the 2019 Track Asia Cup competition held in New Delhi, making the country the champions of the cup.

As per the reports, before joining the National Cycling Academy in Delhi and starting cycling professionally, the young Manipuri athlete used to ride an MTB in his hometown and that’s where he built up his passion for cycling.

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