Army dominates KIWG with 10 gold medals

Secy Sports Council Nuzhat Gull posing with winning team.
Secy Sports Council Nuzhat Gull posing with winning team.

4th Khelo India Winter Games conclude

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

Gulmarg, Feb 25: Indian army dominated the medals tally in the 4th edition of Khelo India Winter Games held here for four days.
The Army is new champion of the KIWG which clinched the top position with 10 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals followed by first runner up Karnataka with 9 gold and 2 silver medals and 2nd runner up Maharashtra with 7 gold, 8 silver and 7 bronze medals.
The J&K is placed at 9th position in the medal tally with 1 gold, 6 Silver and 4 bronze medals.
From hosts Shahid Ahmad Chach clinched the sole Gold medal in Verticle Ski Mountaineering while he also won silver in another discipline of Sprint and shared a bronze with three other colleagues in Ski Mountaineering Men Relay group.
Besides Chachi, Shazi Hassan, Sobia Nabi, Shaista Shabir and Vikar also bagged silver medals in Ski Mountaineering Women Sprint, Alpine Skiing Women Slalom and Alpine Skiing Women Parallel and Men Parallel Slalom respectively.
Also, J&K bagged another Silver in Ski Mountaineering Women Relay in which Shazia Hassan, Maryam Farooq and Noorian Latief teamed up to display enthusiastic spirit to clinch the title.
Over four days, from February 21 to 25, nearly 800 athletes showcased their talents in various winter sports disciplines against the stunning backdrop of Gulmarg. The resort had recently received an impressive five feet of snow, setting the stage for an unforgettable competition. Athletes demonstrated their skills in alpine skiing, nordic skiing, snow mountaineering, and snowboarding competitions.
Additionally, this edition featured ice hockey and snow skating competitions in Ladakh earlier this year.
Continuing their dominance from the previous edition, the Indian Army clinched the top spot in the medal tally, securing approximately 10 gold medals across various events.
“We are thankful that Khelo India took place here, and we are happy to emerge as champions with ten golds under our belt. Our message will be to everyone to come here, participate, and make your states and country proud,” Naveenm, an athlete, said.
Kavya Kartaken from team Maharashtra, who secured an overall second runner-up position in ski mountaineering, attributed their success to the collective efforts of all participants. “This is the combined effort of all the participants who participated here in Gulmarg and the earlier events in Ladakh as well. This is for all of them,” she said.
Reflecting on her journey, Kavya shared her decade-long experience of learning skiing in Gulmarg and the past three years of training for ski mountaineering. “This is my first time in Khelo Indian winter sports,” she said. She expressed her gratitude for the excellent facilities provided to athletes.
Six-time winter Olympian in Luge, Sheva Keshavan, who is also the Indian Olympic Association Adhoc Committee chairman of Ski and Snowboarding, underscored the significance of Khelo India as a pivotal platform for athlete development, advocating for its continued enhancement.
He hailed Gulmarg as a treasure trove for winter sports and urged for more events to nurture both junior and senior talent. “I have not seen many destinations like Gulmarg anywhere in the world. We are sitting on a gem over here, and with a little bit of effort and events like Khelo India, the youth are going to get a platform to do better, and such things should continue,” he said, adding that international events should also be planned keeping in view the potential of the place.
In addressing the gap in the medal tally among locals, he called for introspection and concerted efforts to uplift local athletes. “It is important to strive harder collectively,” he said. He also highlighted the need for increased access and opportunities for local talent.
He urged parents to support their children’s sporting aspirations from an early age so that they flourish in the sports.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony, Secretary, Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull expressed gratitude to the Officers and Officials of Divisional Administration, District Administration, Civil Departments and security agencies for rendering their services for successful conduct of 4th Edition of Khelo India Winter Games.
She also thanked all Olympians for officiating the Khelo India Winter Games and enabling professional conduct of national event in which 600 athletes & officials participated. CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority Waseem Raja also expressed his gratitude to the departments and service providers for successful conduct of KIWG. The mementos and appreciation certificates were also distributed among the guests and service providers.