Hyderabad: It is all about father’s pursuit for excellence and son’s determination. So when son Parshuram won the silver at the Indian Road Cycling Nationals, under-23 Mass Start (120km), at Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) recently, there were tears of joy in Arvind Chenji’s eyes. The 23-year-old became the first cyclist from the Telangana State to win a medal in the cycling nationals.
“It is always a great feeling to win a medal at any big event. To be honest, I was little disappointed that I missed the gold narrowly to Sourav,’’ said Parshuram, who romped home in three hours and eight minutes. He was just two or three metres behind Sourav of Haryana. “It was a close race. But I was against three teams and I had to fight single-handedly to win a medal. But my training in Belgium helped me come out victorious.’’
Parshuram said the stint in Belgium changed his concept of training. “I think the best amateurs riders are found in this country. They are very passionate about cycling and other sport. Unlike in India, the Belgians take their children to cycling from a young age of five to six years. While in India, it is all about cricket, football, tennis or badminton, cycling is given more attention in Belgium. I was fortunate to train with energetic cyclists.’’
The City cyclist said a lot of planning and hard work is required to meet the tough challenges. “Cycling is one of the toughest sport. It needs hours of training which runs into six to seven hours daily. Apart from that there are other things like the work ethics, gym and diet that need to be given a lot of attention. At Belgium, I learned how they prepare for big events — tactical and strategy wise. My experience and exposure definitely helped me to be an improved and confident cyclist. My aim is now to represent the country and the first thing towards that is securing a place in the national camp.’’
Parshuram said it is unfortunate cycling is not a popular sport in India. “But for my father, I would not have come this far. I hardly got any support from any quarter but my father was willing to go to the distance for my cause. That made me more determined to work hard and win a medal for him.’’
Father Arvind, who had to fight all odds, is happy and delighted with the result. “It is just a start and there is more to come. I have a dream that he wins a medal for the country. Of what was a hobby has become a passion for Parshu. It was a year and half ago, he accompanied me to a road cycling competition at Medchal where I conduct races. One fine morning he borrowed my cycle and participated in the race. He never looked back since then. I like his determination and self-belief. He is smart, which is required in his event,’’ said Chenji, an accomplished photographer.