In what comes as fascinating news for India, two young professional cyclists, David Beckham and Ronaldo Singh who rose to fame for not just their unique names but for their performances will cycle for India at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The two young guns named after two popular footballers from different generations recently starred in two different competitions held in the last two years. This two will travel with the Indian contingent en route to Birmingham.
David Beckham, a 19-year-old professional cyclist from Car Nicobar, in the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands, has been named after former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham by his grandfather. He won a gold in the 200-metre cycling event at the Youth Games held in Guwahati, in 2020. But he came to the limelight when PM Narendra Modi mentioned his name during a ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episode.
“If I now take the name of David Beckham, you will think whether I’m to the legendary International Footballer. But now we also have a David Beckham amidst us and he has won a gold medal at the Youth Games in Guwahati. That too in the 200-metre sprint event in cycling,” said PM Modi during his address on January 26, 2020.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo Singh who hails from Manipur won the Silver medal in the sprint event at the Asian Cycling Championships 2022. With the win, he also became the first Indian cyclist to win a silver medal (including the Elite category) at the Asian Track Championship. Many mistake his name with Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo but in fact, he is named after iconic Brazilian footballer, Ronaldinho.
After silver at Asian Track Championship, the Manipur-born cyclist Ronaldo won a bronze in the team sprint event and a silver medal in the men’s elite sprint race at the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ATCC). The 20-year-old also created a national record with a 9.946s sprint (first Indian to breach the 10-sec mark) in the quarter-final.
Now, with so much limelight on them, the two cyclists will hope to put on a dominant show as India is still looking to build a name in the sport of cycling.