Kazakh cyclist Alexey Lutsenko clinched the gold medal in the men's individual road time trial at the 19th Asian Games, held in Hangzhou, China.
The 31-year-old athlete, who had previously claimed the event's golds at Incheon 2014 and Jakarta 2018, astounded spectators and competitors with his performance, finishing with a time of 48 minutes and 5.75 seconds.
Lutsenko's victory marked the fifth gold medal secured by the national team of Kazakhstan in this prestigious event. So far, Kazakhstan secured 47 medals, including five gold, ten silver and 32 bronze medals.
“For me and our team the Asian Games was the biggest goal of the season,” Lutsenko said. “Actually, we were preparing for this competition during the whole season to come here in the top form.”
Lutsenko said that his triumph was not just a personal achievement but also a testament to the dedication and hard work of the Astana Qazaqstan Team, which represents Kazakhstan globally.
“I am super happy and proud to bring this gold medal to our national team, to Kazakhstan. We elaborated a good plan for the race, and it worked very well. Now it is time for a short recovery before the road race on Thursday,” said Lutsenko.
Despite the difficulties that lay ahead, he expressed his motivation, saying, “It won’t be an easy race, but together with Yevgeniy Fedorov, Gleb Brussenskiy, and Dmitriy Gruzdev, we are motivated to give our all for the best possible result.”
The 19th Asian Games, hosted in Hangzhou, China, boasts a record participation of 12,500 athletes from 45 countries, competing in 40 sports over 15 days of intense competition. These games hold a special significance as they serve as Olympic qualifiers in nine sports: archery, artistic swimming, boxing, breaking, hockey, modern pentathlon, sailing, tennis, and water polo, with coveted Paris 2024 quotas on the line.
The Games were postponed by 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 54 venues, including 12 newly constructed ones, have been used for the games.
Hangzhou, the vibrant host city, has become the third Chinese city to stage the Asian Games, following the footsteps of Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010. The newly built Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, China Hangzhou Esports Center, and Chun'an Jieshou Sports Centre Velodrome are among the arenas that have been created for the Games.