‘Tournament was challenging given types of slopes’
Srinagar: Adding one more feather to his cap, Valley’s top skier Arif Khan has bagged gold and bronze medal in the ongoing Slalom event at FIS International Ski Races held in Ski Duba.
Khan has achieved the feat in 51.98 seconds after three runs. He finished the first run in 17.45 seconds, the second run in 17.43 seconds and the third run in 17.43 seconds.
Khan said the international tournament was challenging for him given the type of slopes at FIS International Ski Races.
“This is a tournament held by International Skiing Federation. Like previous years, Indian team also got invitation to participate in it. The tournament was very challenging for me as there are short slopes of around 200 meters made of ice. It is a challenge for skier to go down through the hill. But I have made it in third and fourth attempt,” he said.
Khan said that four races were held in the tournament in which he successfully emerged as winner in third and fourth race.
“First day I was out of the race and in the second race I made a place in the top 10. Third day I made a recovery and bagged a bronze medal. Finally today when fourth race was held, Indian team stood a first position and won the first international gold medal,” he said.
Khan termed the victory as historic adding it was inspire the skier of India to make a mark in international championships.
“The experience I gained in Dubai held me on third and fourth day. This win is historic. It will inspire our skiers to perform well in international platforms,” he said.
Khan said he is now eyeing to bring even more laurels in the Asian and Olympic.
“Now Olympic and Asian games will be our next priority. This victory has boosted our morale to win more medals in these two international championships. We have good and talented skiers in Kashmir who will be motivated to go for bigger international championships,” he said.
Khan, the only Indian to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is a national and South Asian slalom champion in alpine skiing. He took part in two events then – slalom and giant slalom.
Back in November 2021, Arif Khan became the first Indian athlete to earn a Beijing 2022 quota place in the slalom event and a month later, Arif Khan pushed the envelope even further, winning an Olympic quota place in giant slalom at a meet in Montenegro.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Omar Abdullah greeted Khan for achieving this rare feat.
Massive news coming out from Dubai, Kashmiri skier Arif Khan wins Gold medal in the ongoing FIS international ski races in Dubai in the slalom event. Arif also won bronze medal yesterday in the same competition Congratulation,” he posted on X—(KNO)