Guwahati: Cyclists from Northeast bagged several gold, silver and bronze medals in various categories at the recently-concluded 16th National Mountain Bike Championships held in Haldwani, Uttarakhand from February 20 to 22.
While Ismamul Howk (25) from Assam won gold in the Downhill Men’s Elite, Apshai Griffith Niangti (22), who represented Cycling Federation of India (CFI) Meghalaya, bagged the silver in Men’s Elite Category. Meanwhile, Khundrakpam Ronel Singh (18) from Manipur won a silver in the XCT Men’s Junior category as well as a bronze in the XCO Men’s junior category and Malav Dutta (14) from Assam clinched a bronze in the XCT Youth boys category as well as a bronze in the XCO youth boys category.
Innus Ali finished among the top 10 in both the Seniors XC and Time Trial events. Ahonda Menjo performed quite well considering he was competing after coming back from an arm injury just a few months ago. Ismamul Howk had won a bronze in the 2019 edition of the National Championships.
The players from Assam were selected based on their performance in local and regional events and were sent for the nationals under the aegis of Cycling Association of Assam (CAA).
For Meghalaya and Manipur, the state associations were not able to send their entries. Players were selected after independent trials were conducted under the instructions of Cycling Federation of India (CFI). The Manipur team was coached by Seityajit Singh and was managed by Denis Phuritsibam under the aegis of MAMBA (Manipur Adventure and Mountain Biking Association).
Malav Dutta from Guwahati, Innus Ali from Guwahati, Ismamul Howk from Guwahati and Ahonda Menjo from Arunachal Pradesh representing Assam were nurtured and guided by Spokehub Racing from Guwahati. Innus Ali finished among the top 10 in both the Seniors XC and Time Trial events.
During the medal ceremony, CFI officials praised Malav Dutta for his achievements and said that he is going to be the face of MTB racing in India.