PARIS: Esow Alban, a top Indian cyclist, qualified for the men's keirin semifinals on Thursday at the ongoing 2022 Cycling Track World Championships in Saint Quentin, France.
After placing third in heat 2 of the quarterfinals earlier, he accomplished the feat. The 21-year-old also made history by becoming the first Indian to advance to any event's semifinals at the Track World Championships.
After placing fifth in his heat in the first round, Alban faced an early exit, but a much-improved showing in the first-round rematch and a second-place result allowed the Indian to advance to the quarterfinals.
The former junior world number one will compete in the semifinals. Along with Melvin Landerneu of France, Kohei Terasaki of Japan, Sergey Ponomaryov of Kazakhstan, Firdaus Sahrom of Malaysia, and Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands, he is drawn in Heat 1 of the semifinals.
Sports Authority of India on Friday took to their Twitter handle to tweet, "Track cyclist @esowalban creates history by becoming st Indian ever to reach Semifinals of any event of Track Cycling World Championships.
He finished 12th after missing out on the Final 6 spots by 0.005sec during his SF race! Well Done Esow & all the best for the future!"