DIMORIA, Feb 9: She grabbed the first gold for India as the 12th South Asian Games kicked off amidst much fanfare. And she has kept up the good work with three gold medals to her me, blowing away the competition in women cycling’s 80 km road race at Tapesia today. Meet Tourangbam Bidyalaxmi, hailing from sports powerhouse Manipur and an NF Railway employee posted in Guwahati.
Earlier, Bidyalaxmi won the gold in women’s 30 km team trial and 40 km team trial events. This happens to be the second intertiol meet she is competing in, and the first in which she has clinched gold. Last year, Bidyalaxmi had a silver medal to her me at the Asia Cup in Delhi.
Talking to the media after finishing on top of the podium in today’s event, Bidyalaxmi said, “I’m happy that I made it. It’s all because of my hard work, dedication and focus. One should have an aim, otherwise it is difficult to target. I was focused on the gold.”
Describing the moments before completing the 80 km track, Bidyalaxmi said, “I was crying out of pain... the track seemed never to end. But then I realized I had to win. Forgetting the pain in my legs, I focused on the goal and filly made it.”
Bidyalaxmi completed the 80 km track in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 55 seconds, crying out in sheer joy at the end. Indians made it a 1-2-3 in this race, with Lidiyamol Sunny following Bidyalaxmi for the silver and Geethu Raj N coming through for the bronze.
At the South Asian Games here, the Indian women cycling team has won a total 6 gold, 5 silvers and 2 bronze medals.