Cubeleo Rides On COVID-Induced Life Transformations To Cycling Medals

At the Khelo India Youth Games 2023, Alanis Cubeleo won the gold medal in the 60km individual road race and silver in the 20km individual time trial


Photo: SAI
Alanis Cubeleo from Kerala dominates the road cycling arena at ECR (Mahabalipuram-Kovalam) at the ongoing KIYG 2023 in Chennai. Photo: SAI

In the face of the COVID-19 lockdown, where most viewed the restrictions as a curse, Alanis Lilly Cubeleo saw it as an opportunity for transformation. As pools shut and competitive swimming came to a halt, she was determined not to let the pandemic hinder her athletic pursuits. Hence, she pivoted her focus from the water to the open road, embracing the challenges and joys of cycling. (More Sports News)

At the Khelo India Youth Games 2023 Tamil Nadu, the 18-year-old displayed athleticism and hard work as she won the gold medal in the 60km individual road race and silver in the 20km individual time trial. By doing so, she also became the first Kerala cyclist to win a road race medal in the history of the Khelo India Youth Games.


“I did my best. Of course, I was nervous. But somewhere I was confident I could do it. This is my first ever major medal in this sport. I am very glad to bag these medals in my first ever Khelo India Youth Games appearance, I also want to represent our nation in the international circuit,” said Alanis.

The youngster, who was hoping to become a competitive swimmer before the coronavirus struck, was prodded by her father Ancel to take up cycling as he was himself a former state-level cyclist.


However, the switch wasn’t all that easy as Alanis initially had no coach and would train in the morning and evening on her own through the shores of Kochi port, also known as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’.

Her coach Chandran Chettiyar lauded the effort the 18-year-old has put into winning the medal. “She has been training for two years by herself and I was with her for only a short period. All credit goes to her dad. He was pulling all stops to ensure she would triumph and win a medal in the past four years.”

At the Khelo India Games, Alanis got the better of many experienced riders including Tamil Nadu’s J Srimathi, who won the bronze medal at the 2023 Asian Track Cycling Championships in Delhi and believes that the performance would only give her the confidence to aim higher.

"I am feeling really proud as a father, and happy to see her win the medals in Khelo India Youth Games. This stage gave her the opportunity to compete with international level players and she also managed to win against them. I think the confidence which she gains from this competition will help her in the upcoming competitions too," Ancel said.