Day 3: Indian team skating trials
The morning’s events began by 7 am at the road circuit. The only race scheduled was the 10 km point-to-point event, which has the same rules as the rink event. Since there were only two senior women participating, the officials decided to let both the men and women skate together.
The senior men’s race was won by Vikram Ingale who managed to pull off an impressive breakaway. Meet Shah of Gujarat won second place.
Aarathy Kasturiraj won the women’s race comfortably with Barkha Parmar coming second.
The junior girls skated next. The race was exciting with Musckaan Chauhan winning comfortably while Simran Josan captured second place.
The junior boys’ race was nerve-racking. Tejeshwar of Tamil Nadu was dominant, but it was a hard-fought tussle between Prathik Prasad and Harshveer Sekhon for second place. Both had equal points at the end of the race, but because Prathik finished ahead of Harshveer in the last lap, he secured second place as well as a place on the team.
The Rink IV or 500 m races were supposed to begin at 5 pm but the events were postponed to 8 pm because it started raining. The junior boys had their heats first. Once the number of boys left competing had been cut down to eight, the other categories began their competition.
The senior men’s race was incredibly exciting. Nikhilesh Tabhane led the race from the start. Akash Aradhya began the race last but was a treat to watch as he wove his way through the other two competitors to finish the race a very very close second.
The senior women’s race was won by Aarathy Kasturiraj followed by Varsha Puranik.
The junior girls’ race had a major upset as Mouna Babu managed to inch past the event favourite Musckaan Chauhan, who finished second.
The junior boys’ finals was a do-or-die event for Abdul Zaheer Khan and that was evident from the race that he skated. He started the race last but he really gave it his all and finished second behind Dhanush Babu, managing to qualify for the team.
All in all, the day was a day full of fantastic races. Tomorrow will be the last day of the trials with the final race being the 20km road elimination event.