India, which had sent a nine-member team, has won medals at the world snowshoe championships for the first time

Just days after Union Sports Minister Kiran Rijju announced the first ever Khelo India Winter Games and included Snowshoe sport in the event, Jammu and Kashmir athletes representing India at the World Snowshoe Championships at Myoko Japan have bagged three medals.

In the championships that saw athletes from around 17 countries coming from different continents competing, Jammu and Kashmir athletes bagged one silver and two bronze medals. This is the first time in the history of the Snowshoe sport that Indian athletes have bagged medals at the World Championships.

In the junior boys’ category, Ayan Bin Shahnaz of Burn Hall School while representing India finished second in the five-kilometre run whereas 10-year-old Zain Ali of Burn Hall finished third in the same category.

In the 20-29 age group categories of nine-kilometres run, Muzamil Hussain Mir, a former student of Islamia College, finished third and bagged the bronze medal.

The championship was organized by Japan Snowshoeing Federation under the auspices of World Snowshoe Federation. The Indian contingent was fielded by the Snowshoe Federation of India (SSFI). Athletes from countries like USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden France and others participated.

The race was held in tough conditions with soft deep snow and the terrain was difficult with a lot of uphill and steep climbs on the course. Despite all that, Ayan, Zain and Muzamil who were competing for the first time at the world level came out with flying colours, bringing laurels for J&K and India.

Hailing the team for making India and J&K proud, SSFI president Mir Mudassir said, “In five to six years history of Snowshoe sport in India, it is the first time we went with a strong contingent of nine members and among them three came out with medals. Snowshoe has a great future in India as well as in Kashmir. We are thankful to all our supporters and Government, including Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, and Tourism Department for always being there and supporting our efforts,” he added.

Ayaan and Zain said that they were happy for their feat. “We are too happy as we never expected to get medals during the championship,” they said.

Muzamil Mir said that he wanted a medal in the open senior men's category but this is still an achievement.
The team included Gulzar Ahmed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Muzamil Hussain, Feroze Ahmed , Zain Ali, Ayaan Bin Shahnaz, Abid, Zulfqar and Ishfaq.

Courtesy: Kashmir News Service