(Eds: Updating with fresh input, rephrasing intro)
New Delhi, Jun 22 (PTI) Ronaldo Singh on Wednesday scripted history as he became the first Indian cyclist to win a silver in a continental tournament in the senior category by finishing second in the sprint event on the concluding day of the Asian Track Championship here.
Ronaldo's feat was the best performance by any Indian cyclist in a continental championship. He gave a tough fight to Japan's experienced rider Kento Yamasaki but finished with a silver.
Yamasaki defeated Ronaldo in back-to-back races to finish at the top of the podium. Kazakhstan's Andrey Chugay won the bronze in the event.
"This (Ronaldo's silver) was the first silver won by an Indian in Asian Championships. No Indian has won a gold in our history, so his silver winning feat is the best ever performance by an Indian in continental championships," Cycling Federation of India chairman Onkar Singh told PTI.
Singh is also the secretary general of Asian Cycling Confederation.
Ronaldo's silver on Wednesday was his third medal of the championships. He had earlier won bronze medals in 1km time trial and team sprint events.
In the morning, Ronaldo defeated Kazakhstan's Chugay in the semifinal. The Indian lost the first race but bounced back to win the next two to storm into the final.
"Gold was in my mind but I'm also happy with the first-ever silver. This is the best ever performance of my career. In every tournament I improved my technique, this is most important," Ronaldo said.
On Tuesday, world junior champion and Asian record holder Ronaldo created a national record in 200m flying time trial by breaching the 10 seconds barrier on way to the semifinals of men's Elite sprint race event.
The home team won one silver and two bronze medals on the final day.
Indian junior cyclist Birjit Yumnam won a bronze in 15km Points Race with 23 points. Korea's Sungyeon Lee won the silver with 24 points while Farrukh Bobosherov of Uzbekistan grabbed the gold.
The big surprise of the day was 19-year-old Chayanika Gogoi, who opened the Indian tally with a bronze over Kazakhstan's medal favourite Rinata Sultanova in 10km Women Scratch Race finals. Youri Kim won the gold while Kie Furuyama of Japan clinched the silver.
The Asian Junior and Para championships were also being held simultaneously at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium veledrome.
There were a handful of crashes on the final day which saw 10 finals.
Japan topped the combined medal tally with 18 gold, seven silver and two bronze.
In the world class field, the Indian cycling team finished fifth with 23 medals (2 Gold, 6 Silver, 15 Bronze).
Korea finished second with 12 gold, 14 silver and three bronze medals while Kazakhstan secured third place with four gold, four silver and three bronze. PTI PDS SSC PDS SSC