Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

Jyoti Kumari Paswan, center bottom, with her family in Siruhully village at Darbhanga district, cycled her ailing father 1,200 kilometers across India during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (AFP)
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Updated 23 May 2020

Girl who pedaled injured dad across India offered national team trial

  • Paswan and Kumari arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days
  • Father and daughter’s arduous journey makes headlines

DARBHANGA, India: A 15-year-old girl who pedaled her injured migrant-worker father more than a thousand kilometers across India after a coronavirus lockdown left them destitute has been invited to try out for the national cycling team.
Jyoti Kumari rode a bicycle with her father, Mohan Paswan, sitting on the pillion and holding their belongings from Gurugram city, near New Delhi, to their village in the northeastern state of Bihar, local media reported.
They arrived home on May 16 after covering 1,200 kilometers in seven days.
Paswan, a motorized rickshaw driver, was among millions of migrant workers left jobless after the country was suddenly locked down in March to slow the spread of the virus.
With no money to pay rent or buy food and public transport halted, many walked or — like Kumari and Paswan — rode bicycles back to their villages.
The father and daughter’s arduous journey on a second-hand bike bought with their remaining funds made headlines.
It also caught the attention of the Cycling Federation of India, which offered Kumari the chance to try out for the country’s team.
“She covered this distance in seven days with her father and some luggage too. I thought she has something in her... that endurance level. We can try her,” chairman Onkar Singh said.
“She said she only wants to pursue her studies. We told her that we also take care of studies at our academies.”
The cycling body expects Kumari to travel to Delhi after nationwide travel restrictions are lifted.
Singh said the federation would test Kumari to see if she is suitable for competitive cycling.
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, praised Kumari’s efforts in a tweet, describing it as a “beautiful feat of endurance & love.”


US sprinter beats Usain Bolt's 200m world record - but only runs 185m

Updated 1 min 6 sec ago

US sprinter beats Usain Bolt's 200m world record - but only runs 185m

  • Lyles was racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe.

LONDON: For a few fleeting minutes, US sprinter Noah Lyles thought he had broken the long-standing 200 meter world record at the Inspiration Games on Thursday.

Lyles, 22, is the 200m world champion and his time of 18.90 seconds would have smashed the 19.19 mark set by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in 2009.

But the headline time will not go into the history books after it was revealed he only ran 185 meters due to a blunder by the event organizers putting the starting line in the wrong place.

Lyles was racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe.

His staggering time was immediately challenged by commentators watching the event.

“You can’t be playing with my emotions like this....Got me in the wrong lane smh,” he tweeted. He later tweeted again to correct himself, saying he had in fact started on the wrong line. 

The farcical ending one of the headline races in the event will be an embarrassment for the organizers, who were banking on showing the world that technology can make a major international athletics event possible despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.