HEFEI, China, May 14 -- The 23rd Asian Mountain Bike Championships & 9th Asian Junior Mountain Bike Championships concluded at Xuancheng, Anhui Province on Sunday after three-day competitions, with the hosts winning three out of the five titles at stake.
The Chinese bikers have swept the three cross country elite titles, namely the men's and women's events and team relay, while Japan and Thailand split the men's and women's downhill events. And the junior men's and women's cross country titles went to South Korea and Japan respectively.
Against the Jingting Hills scenic region, famous for a poem written by Li Bai over ten centuries ago, the Asian event has attracted 230 cyclists and coaches from 18 countries and regions, including Iran, India and Kazakhstan.
China ranked first in the opening cross country team relay on Friday, followed by Japan and Iran. In elite men's cross country race, Lyu Xianjing awarded the hosts the top honour in one hour 29 minutes and 30 seconds, while Yao Bianwa won the elite women's race in one hour 33 minutes and 10 seconds.
Deekaballes Vipavee of Thailand won the women's downhill on Sunday, the Mothers' Day, and attributed her success to her mother's support, while Kushima Yuki of Japan triumphed in the men's event.
Kim Mi-no of South Korea won the junior men's cross country while Kawaguchi Urara of Japan placed first in the women's race.
Strancar Primoz, head coach of Iran, spoke highly of the course. "The course is challenging and technical. It's a real mountain bike course," he said.
Onkar Singh, secretary general of the Asian Cycling Confederation, was happy that more juniors took part in the event, saying that "the increase of junior participants will promote the development of mountain cycling in Asia," as they will grow into seniors with better skills and have more opportunities to qualify for the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
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