2018: J&K succeeds in carving a space on Country’s sports map

Rajesh Dhar
Though, the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which is striving hard to create a niche in the field of sports, witnessed a mixed fortune in this field, the State, has succeeded in carving a space on the Country’s sports map-courtesy some extraordinary performances by J&K’s ace sportsmen in some sports at the International scene. As for as winning the medals at the International level is concerned, the custom remains the same. The players of few medal winning sports disciplines once again blossomed at the International scene, while the performance graph of the players of most of the games hardly showed any improvement and the players of such games took part in the events just for the sake of participation. However, the disciplines which made the people of the State feel proud included Wushu, Shooting Gymnastics, Chess, Fencing, Water Sports and Taekwondo etc.

Surya Bhanu Partap creates history
Ace sportsperson Surya Bhanu Partap Singh created history by being the first medal winner from Jammu and Kashmir in Asian Games. Apart from winning a galaxy of medals at the National and International level from last five years, the iconic sportsperson bagged bronze medal in 18th Asian Games at Jakarta in 2018. He would have achieved a gold or a silver had he not suffered an injury.
Handoo once again makes a mark as Chief Coach of India
Recipient of FICCI Award, State Award, Sher-e-Kashmir Award, Parshuram Award and Rangeel Singh Award, Kuldeep Handoo, Chief Coach of Wushu in India, has once again sparkled as Coach of Indian team which clinched 4 bronze medals in 18th Asian Games at Jakarta-2018. Kuldeep has the honour of producing a good number of Wushu players in India. Apart from producing top Wushu players like Bhanu Partap, Rajinder and likes, Kuldeep has the distinction of honing skill of Mohd Saleem Kumar, who secured silver medal in 9th Junior World Wushu Championship held at Brazil in July 2018.
Canoeists do it again, Bilquis steals show
J&K canoeists did it again by winning gold medal in 2018 Nationals, with one boy Vilayat Hussian making it to the India Camp in Slalam. Ace Water Sports coach Bilquis Mir has always been instrumental in producing International stuff. She stole the show in 2018 by being first Judge from Jammu and Kashmir in the 18th Asian Games-2018 held at Jakarta in Indonesia. She was the only judge from India in this sports discipline and the other two judges were from China.
Judokas Arshi, Rahil win medals
Jammu’s ace Judo coach Arshi Nad kept her State’s Flag high by winning silver medal in Commonwealth Master Judo Championship held in the year 2018. Rahil Shafi from Srinagar also claimed bronze in this Championship. Shweta Thakur bagged silver in Senior Nationals held in the State during the year.
Menal, Arushi, Soham emerge Chess champs
Meenal Gupta, Arushi Kotwal and Soham Kamotra gave excellent performances during the year. While Meenal won silver medal in Commonwealth Under-16 girls age group and became first women player of the state to get eligible for SAI Award in Asian School and Western Asian Youth and Soham Kamotra won silver in National Amateur Chess Championship and became highest rated player of J&K.
Atul takes great initiative
Atul Kumar Gupta, President All J&K Chess Association took a bold initiative and organized biggest National event of India in Jammu with 20,000,00 cash prize money. Atul has the distinction of organising 12 National level events in J&K. With his energy and dynamism, big International chess festival may take place in J&K with the participation of over 700 players from the 12 countries in 2019.
J&K Karatekas excel in open Int’l C’ship
Eight players of Dhammika Kai Jammu and Kashmir Karate Association won good number of medals in the 3rd ASSKA International Open Karate Championship, organised by Asian Shito-Ryu Sports Karate Do Association at Dharamsala IN Himachal Pradesh. Seven countries participated in the Championship, which included Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan, Bhutan, Malaysia and India.
Gymnasts win 47 medals in 2018
State Gymnasts won 47 medals with 21 gold, 15 silver and 11 bronze medals during the year 2018.
In 1st edition of prestigious Khelo India National School Games at New Delhi, Bavleen Kaur won 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
During 24th Senior National Gymnastics Championship at Mohali, Punjab,
Palak Kour Bijral was adjudged as the all-round best Gymnast in Senior Women category. She won 3 gold and 2 bronze medals, while Mitali claimed 1 gold and 1 bronze, Vandhana Barathi clinched 1 Silver, Nandani Lakhotra, Palak, Mitali and Vandhana won Team Championship gold. In Juniors, Bavleen Kaur bagged 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze. She was declared as all-round 2nd Best Gymnast. Tawishi Singh claimed 1 Bronze, Sneha Dewan, Yaadavi, Bavleen and Tawishi claimed Team Championship gold. In All India Inter-University Gymnastics Championships at Chandigarh, Palak Kour Bijral was declared as the all-round best Gymnast, winning 4 gold and 1 bronze medal, while in 64th National School Gymnastics at Agartala, Bavleen Kaur won 3 gold and 1 bronze with best gymnast title,  Vandhana Barathi claimed 1 bronze, whereas Nandani, Stuti, Bavleen and Vandhana claimed Team Championships silver. Six Gymnasts have been selected for prestigious Khelo India Youth Games at Pune.
Palak was also ranked 5th in the Thailand open Seniors Rhythmic Gymnastics from 2018 whereas Bavleen was ranked at 4th place in the Juniors Thailand open RG Championships 2018.
Spiker Saqlain Tariq represents India
The ace Volleyball player from District Poonch of Jammu and Kashmir, Saqlain Tariq was selected by Volleyball Federation of India which is affiliated to the International Volleyball Federation and Indian Olympic Association, for the BRICS Games to represent Under-21 Men’s Indian Volleyball team at Johannesburg, South Africa.
Earlier, in 2014, Saqlain had represented India as a captain in 10th Asian Youth Volleyball Championship which was held at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The team departed for Johannesburg on Sunday.
Atul Pangotra wins gold
State’s Taekwondo Player, Referee and Coach, Atul Pangotra sparkled once again at 10th Senior Poomsae National Taekwondo Championship held at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh by clinching gold in under-40 male category and brought laurels for the State and Jammu. In the same event, Tashi Tundup from Kargil won silver medal in under 30 Group Category along with Rohit Sharma and Nitish and brought laurels to the state. Team J&K got 4th position in the tournament with 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze in different categories.
Shooter Chain Singh wins silver in prestigious Int’l event
Top-class shooter of Jammu and Kashmir, Chain Singh won a silver medal in the men’s 50m Rifle Prone event, shooting a score of 627.9 to finish behind USA’s Matthew Emmons, who took gold with a score of 628.9 in the prestigious ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol stage in Munich.


Rasikh Salam makes IPL cut
Sensational young medium pace bowler, Rasikh Salam has been picked by the formidable Mumbai Indians for 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). His brilliant performance against strong Tamil Nadu in Vijay Hazare Trophy and consistent impressive performances in Cooch Behar Under-19 Boys Tournament, coupled with mentorship of former Test Cricketer Irfan Pathan has helped hin earn a place in IPL team.
Ankita Raiana wins bronze in Asian Games
Jammu and Kashmir’s Indian tennis player Ankita Raina clinched a bronze medal at the Asian Games after losing to China’s Zhang Shuai in the women’s singles semifinal at Palembang in Indonesia. India’s best women’s singles performance in the Games came from Saina Mirza, who notched up a silver in the 2006 edition in Doha, followed by a bronze by her in 2010, Guangzhou.
Rasool slams 3 tons
Jammu and Kashmir Ranji Trophy skipper scored three centuries and took 28 wickets in the seven Ranji Trophy matches played so far in this season. He scored impressive centuries against Rajasthan, Services and Odisha. His 85/8 against Services was a delight to watch.
JRG excels
The members of Jammu Runners Group sparkled in 2018. AT the prestigious Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Jammu Runners Group of 44 members produced remarkable performances under the guidance of veteran Rajesh Padha Parbhat Singh bagged 2nd spot, while Gaurav Gupta excelled bare footed To spread the message against the use of drugs, the first-ever international half marathon was organised by the Jammu Athlete Club in the winter capital on Sunday, which saw the participation of hundreds of athletes.
The highlight of the half marathon was the participation of eight professional athletes from Kenya and Denmark. The entire event was managed by team headed by Gaurav Gupta and Vikram.
Rajesh Padha, Jammu Runners Group (JRG) founder and renowned veteran runner of J&K, brought laurels to the State again by running his first ever 80 Km Multicity Run between Amritsar to Jalandhar at the Great Run of Punjab.
Padha has also become the first veteran runner from the State to run 80 Km distance at the age of 60 in 10 hours and 24 minutes with total running time of 8 hours and 56 minutes. He stood 2nd in the 80 Km run at an overall level and came first in the 55 plus category. This happened right after he ran 60 Km on his 60th birthday on Oct 30, 2018 between Jammu to Udhampur.

Bodybuilder Dhananjay creates history
Skater turned bodybuilder Dhananjay Singh Charak has created history by securing 5th place in the prestigious Amateur Olympia held at Mumbai in 2018.
Amateur Olympia is the biggest stage in the bodybuilding where amateur bodybuilders all over the world take part and vie for turning into a PRO Level bodybuilder. Dhananjay, son of Jasbir Singh Charak and Yogita Charak is the first ever Mr World from Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, in 2018, Jammu’s ace body-builder had won silver at the 5th Federation Cup and has become the first person from the state to win a medal in the field. Skater turned Bodybuilder Dhananjay Singh Charak made history by winning first ever medal in the field of Bodybuilding for J&K State.

Vansh participates in Jr World C’ship; fencers dazzle
Ace fencer Vansh Mahajan participated in the Junior World Fencing Championship, while J&K fencers blossomed in Senior Nationals by claiming silver. The team comprised of Vishal, Pradeep, Javed and Vansh. The credit of excellence of these fencers goes to coaches Shotu Lal, Rachna Jamwal and mentors Rashid Ahmed and Ujjwal Gupta, Shreya Gupta grabbed at brozne medat at the Sabre event in the Commonwealth Cadet and Junior Fencing Championship at Newcastle, England.
Shreya wins bronze in Commonwealth Cship

Ace International fencer of Jammu and Kashmir Shreya Gupta won bronze medal in Commonwealth Fencing Championship held at Newcastle, England in July this year. This top class fencer has, many a time, brought laurels to the state and to the country as well.
JK’s 4 players represent gold medal winning Indian Roll Ball team
Four players from Jammu and Kashmir represented Indian Roll Ball team that clinched gold in South Asian Games held at Kathmandu in Nepal. These players included Bhanu Sunil KLhajuria, Mahima Khajuria, Simran Raina and Kavneet Kour.
Mudhasir makes World record
Mohammad Mudhasir created World record by claiming 4 wickets in 4 ballls, with all four LBW in Ranji Trophy match against Rajasthan at Swai Maan Singh Stadium, Jaipur.