Pakistan not to take part in Track Asia Cup cycling

Pakistan will not take part in the second edition of Track Asia Cup cycling event to be held here from November 18 to 20 due to internal issues of that country's governing body of the sport, Indian officials said today.

New Delhi: Pakistan will not take part in the second edition of Track Asia Cup cycling event to be held here from November 18 to 20 due to internal issues of that country's governing body of the sport, Indian officials said today.

The three-day event, a part of Rio Olympics qualification, is scheduled to be held at Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here.

Secretary General of Cycling Cycling Federation of India Onkar Singh said that Pakistan was invited to take part in the event but they did not send an official response.

"We sent invitation to Pakistan Cycling Federation but they did not give any official response. We wanted Pakistan to take part in the event and we told them that we will arrange for flight tickets for their cyclists from Lahore. But they did not send any entry," Singh told PTI.

He said Pakistan's non participation has nothing to do with any security issues.

"It's nothing to do with security or other issues related to India. It's not like what is going on in other sports (cricket). I spoke on phone to officials of their cycling federation and they said due to factions in their national body, they will not be able to send their entries," he said.

"I came to know that they have two factions in their national cycling body and there was issues about who is recognised by their National Olympic Committee. That was the issue," he added.

The event, graded class 1 by International Cycling Union (UCI), is a part of Olympic qualification whereby the points attained by a cyclist will add to the ranking of the individual and thus make it more competitive and interesting.

The first edition of the event, hosted in India last year, had seen the participation of four countries. This year the participation is set to go up to 10.

The event will see participation of thirteen teams from 10 countries including one continental team -- Team ASTANA. The 10 countries are Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Korea, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Iran, UAE, Nepal and India. More than 150 cyclists will compete in the event.

Two teams, SAINCAQ and CFI will be representing India this year in the competition which is also seen as a test for the UCI World Championships scheduled to organised next year.

"The preparations are done for the Track Asia Cup and we are expecting a spectacular event this time where in top Asian cyclists will the competing for the Olympic and World Cup qualifications," said Singh.

"CFI is fully committed to the development and promotion of the sport in India and that is the reason we have decided to field our two additional academy teams in this event, so that our cyclists can get more exposure while competing against top Asia cyclists," he added.

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