Srinagar, Dec 14: 20-year-old cyclist, Mashooq Maqbool bagged silver medal in All India University cycling championship which was held at Punjabi University Patiala on December 9, 2021.
Cyclists from 18 universities across India participated in this championship.
Mashooq is currently pursuing Bachelor of Physical Education and Sports (BPES) from Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar Punjab.
He represented Guru Nanak Dev University in All India track University cycling championship in which he got silver medal in the 4KM team pursuit event.
He has been working hard from last one year on track under the coach, Rajesh Kaushik who according Mashooq prepared him for this championship.
“I am always thankful to my coach and all those friends who always stood by me during all my twists and turns,” he says.
Mashooq, son of a poor carpenter, Mohammad Maqbool Malla hails from Agrikalan hamlet of Magam in north Kashmir’s district Baramulla, he received his intermediate education from Government Boys Higher Secondary School Magam.
“I am also 4 times state gold medalist whom I bagged in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 respectively, and have also stood 4th among toppers in nationals in 2018,” he claims.
He started his cycling career four years back when he was just 16 years old. He represented J&K in very first time at nationals at Aligarh Uttar Pradesh.
He had struggled a lot since he started cycling career owing to poor financial conditions at home.
“I have faced a lot of hardships and struggled a lot since I started my cycling career. Initially I did not have my own proper equipment which hit hard my pursuit for cycling,” he says.
Fourth among his siblings, Mashooq says he would have done better if he had availed the proper sports equipment in time.
“Had I had proper equipment that time, I would have done better. It was my parents who kept motivating and pushing me ahead at times when I felt low and they always stood by me for choosing cycling professionally,” he says.
According to Mashooq his parents used to stress on him for working hard and focusing on the game, as they believed in his potential.
“Meanwhile things kept improving gradually day by day for me,” he says.
He got inspiration from the cyclist from his hometown that he used to watch since his childhood.
“I always used to watch senior cyclists like Akbar Khan, Mohammad Adil Teli, Adil Teli in my hometown Baramulla, when they were riding cycles in their training sessions through National highway, it was then when I decided to become professional cyclist like them,” he says.
As per Mashooq he has been working hard for the past several years to represent J&K at senior level championships.
“I was working hard for many years so that I could perform better and improve my cycling skills and stamina to meet the requirements of professional cyclists.
His role model in professional cycling are many but the most influential personalities who impacted him are Naveen John, an Indian cyclist riding for the Ciclo Racing team, and from the valley Adil Teli, K2K Guinness book recorder is his favorite.
“I want to make the people of J&K proud of me by bagging medals at various national level arenas,” he says.