Must have something special to cycle 1200 km in 7 days: CFI chief on Jyoti


New Delhi, May 22, 2022

The story of a 15-year-old girl cycling 1200 km in just seven days with her father on the back sea caught a lot of attention on social media. It was one of many stories of migrant labourers in the country getting displaced during the lockdown and looking to go home.

And the story of Jyoti Kumari caught the attention of the Cycling Federation of India (CFI). The girl will now be allowed to give a trial to become a trainee at the National Cycling Academy in the IGI Stadium complex in New Delhi.

"We spoke to her yesterday. We are planning to call her as soon as she is ready. For now she herself is in quarantine," CFI Chairman Onkar Singh told IANS on Friday.

Singh said that the practice is nothing new for the CFI. "We will put her on to our own systems and assess her. We just want to call her for trials where she will be tested on computerised bikes. It is how the test is done for any new cyclist there and it shows accurately how well they can perform," said Singh.

"Once she passes that test then she will be there. We didn't just randomly pick her up. Cycling 1200km in seven days is no small thing and she must have something special in her. All the young inmates that we have got in this academy are all people picked up from non-cycling backgrounds. They are picked just on their physical parametres. So there is nothing new in that."

The complex, like all other sports complexes in the country, has been shut since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The opening of sports complexes and stadiums for athletes was part of the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the extension of the lockdown on May 17.

On Thursday, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) it had compiled had got the approval from the central government and is implemented immediately. Singh said that considering all this, they are planning to open the academy in a month's time.

"Another 15-20 days, or maximum a month," said Singh when asked about when the CFI plans to re-open the academy. "They have already issued the SOPs so I think a month's time would be enough," he said.

Jyoti Kumari was stuck in Gurugram when the nation-wide lockdown was imposed. Her father was an auto rickshaw driver before he got injured and the lockdown left them without any source of income.

This led to her asking her father to sit on the backseat of her cycle and she pedalled all the way to their village. They reached the village on May 16 with her reportedly cycling 1200km in just seven days.