David Beckham comes sixth in cycling event… for India: Fans amused by Commonwealth Games star named after football legend
- David Beckham Elkatohchoongo, 18, comes from a Manchester United family
- Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam, 20, is named after Brazillian footballer Ronaldinho
- India hopes for a first ever medal in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games
Cycling fans were treated to a surprise appearance from David Beckham and Ronaldo as they took to the track at the Commonwealth Games yesterday.
But they were disappointed to learn that it wasn’t in fact the footballing superstars that would be donning lycra and tearing around the steep banks of the velodrome – but cyclists named in their honour.
Indian track cyclists David Beckham Elkatohchoongo, 18, and Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam, 20, were named after the legendary footballers but opted to pursue cycling instead of the beautiful game.
David Beckham Elkatohchoongo of Team India is pushed out ahead of the first round of the Men’s Keirin on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Mr Elkatohchoongo – who comes from a diehard family of Manchester United supporters – revealed after his men’s team sprint race on Friday that immigration officials thought he was joking when he showed them his passport.
The Indian cyclist, who dreams of winning a medal and meeting his hero the former England captain, said: ‘When I got to the airport, the [passport] inspector said: “Is that really your name, David Beckham? You are lying, you are not David Beckham”.
‘Then he saw my ID and had to concede that my real name was David Beckham.’
indian cyclist David Beckham Elkatohchoongo, 18, dreams of winning a medal and meeting his hero the former England captain Pictured: David Beckham
David Beckham Elkatohchoongo of Team India in action during the first round of the Men’s Keirin on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Ronaldo Singh is named after Ronaldinho – whose real name is Ronaldo – because on the day he was born the Brazilian forward scored a wonder goal against England in the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in Japan.
Just as Ronaldinho scored a thundering free-kick from 40-yards, Ronaldo Singh’s father received a telephone call from his wife telling him that she had gone into labour.
‘Just as the ball went in the goal, I must have started making an appearance,’ Ronaldo Singh said. ‘I think my dad won some money that day. That’s probably why I got that name. He felt I was very lucky for him.’
India’s hopes for a first ever medal in track cycling at the Commonwealth Games rest on Ronaldo and David Beckham.
The pair finished a disappointing sixth out of seven in their first cycling team sprint race but are also set to compete in the men’s individual sprint, men’s 1000m time trial, and the men’s Keirin in Birmingham.