FANCY WATCHING David Beckham on a bike?
Well, if you pop down to the Stratford Velodrome this weekend, you can watch him in action in the track cycling programme of the Commonwealth Games.
Okay, it is not actually Goldenballs himself who had donned a racing suit and saddled up for some peddle power.
But within the India cycling ranks, there is one member who has been named after the former England and Manchester United star.
David Beckham Elkatohchoongo – born on September 20, 2003 – rode in the men’s team sprint on Friday on day one of the Games, finishing in sixth place in the seven-nation qualifying phase.
And he is set to go again on Saturday afternoon in the men’s Keirin and then tomorrow in the men’s sprint.
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David Beckham is from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in southern India and only took up the sport five years ago.
The 18-year-old lost his father during a tsunami in 2004 and his mother died 10 years later, leaving him to live with his grandfather ever since.
When he arrived in the UK this month, he had a bit of passport drama with immigration officials having to double-check his visa.
Elkatohchoongo revealed: “When I got to the airport, the inspector said: ‘Is that really your name, David Beckham? You are lying, you are not David Beckham.’
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“Then he saw my ID and had to concede that my real name was David Beckham.
“It is because my father was a professional street footballer. When I was in my mum's tummy, in the hospital my dad said: ‘When the baby is taken out, he shall be named David Beckham.’
“I’m a big fan of the English David Beckham because he was such a good player, my father loved him and is a really big fan of him.
“I’d love to win a medal and meet him because I am in his country. My father and I would be so happy.”
If that wasn’t quirky enough, then India – searching for a first ever medal in track cycling at the Commonwealths – have also selected Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam for the event in East London.
But the 20-year-old, a junior track cycling world champion, was not named after Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo or the Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo.
Instead, the inspiration for his name comes from his family watching Ronaldinho score that wonder goal for Brazil against England in the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in Japan.
It is believed Singh’s father received a telephone call from his wife at the exact moment Ronaldinho’s 40-yard free-kick went in, telling him that she had gone into labour.
Ronaldo Singh said: “Just as the ball went in the goal, I must have started making an appearance.
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“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.”
David Beckham and Ronaldo have not had the best starts as India finished sixth out of seven nations in qualifying for the men’s team sprint.
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