20-year-old Deborah Herold has made history by becoming the first female cyclist from India to be ranked fourth according to the World Elite UCI Women Ranking, issued by Union Cycliste Internationale. UCI is the world’s governing body for the sport of bicycle racing, and Deborah collected 211 points in the 500m time trial to secure the fourth rank.
Here are five things to know about this cycling star.
1. Survived the 2004 tsunami:
Deborah hails from Andaman and Nicobar. She was 9-year-old when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Car Nicobar air base, where her father worked as an Air Force officer.
2. Was at the 10th place prior to the new ranking:
After her success during the Track Asia Cup held at Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in Delhi this November, Deborah jumped six places. It was because of her success that the Indian team has now reached the 13th position in world rankings.
3. Won three medals at the Track Asia Cup:
The three-day event in New Delhi helped Deborah improve her ranking. She won a gold medal in the women’s elite sprint event on the final day in which she clocked 13.614 seconds, beating South Korea’s Cho Sun Young.
4. Created history at Taiwan Cup Track International Classic:
Deborah won five medals, including one gold, three silver and a bronze medal, at the Taiwan Cup Track International Classic event held in October this year. She became the first ever Indian cyclist to achieve top honours in the women elite section.
5. Was initially trained in Andaman:
She was trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Andaman during her initial days. Four years ago, she shifted to Delhi for training at the IG Stadium
“I am happy that I am the first Indian cyclist to reach this stage, but I want to improve more. I aim to be No. 1. I would like to thank our federation and government for their continuous support. I am working hard to qualify for the Olympics now,” Deborah told PTI.