Indian cyclist Deborah Herold has created history by becoming the first person from the country to qualify for the Track Cycling World Championships that is to be staged by London between the 2nd and 6th of March later this year.
The qualification criteria for the event involves the points accumulated by cyclists in the Union Cycliste Internationale(UCI) conducted events and the 20-year-old from the Andamans had quite a sensational 2015 where she won 5 medals at the Taiwan Cup Track International Classic, that was held in October, that included one gold, three silver medals and one bronze medal.
Then couple of months later, she performed exceedingly well, this time at home in the 2015 Track Asia Cup where she won a toal of three medals and helped India finish with an overall tally off 11 medals, thereby ensuring the country finished third in the eventual standings. India’s exploits there also helped them climb to 13th in the team rankings as well.
But the biggest personal reward for her came at the end of last year when thanks to her stellar showing at the Track Asia Cup, she climbed 6 places to a career-best ranking of 4th in the world after collecting 211 points in 500m time trial event.
Reacting to the news of her making the cut, the assistant secretary of the Cycling Federation of India VN Singh said that this was a result of the hard work put by her and expressed pride over her qualification.
“This is another feather in her cap. It just goes to show what hard work and dedication can do, and we are all very proud of her. Only 20 cyclists in the world qualify for the event. Hers is really a phenomenal career graph," he told TOI Sports.
Deborah’s story is not just an inspiration for Indian sport but for humanity in general since she was one of the few who survived the rampaging waves of the Tsunami that struck the Port Blair coast in the December of 2004 when she was a mere nine-years old and hung on to a tree for 7 days.