Sports in Jammu and Kashmir was on the path of progression in the year 2019. The year, apart from witnessing extraordinary individual performances from a galaxy of ace sportspersons and good show by a few teams, also witnessed augmentation of sports infrastructure in almost every district of the Union Territory. Moreover, what was great to observe this year was that a good number of veteran sportspersons of J&K represented the country in various capacities viz Chef de Mission, Managers, Coaches and National Selectors. Young sportspersons made Jammu and Kashmir proud by blossoming at the National and International scene, Cricketer Abdul Samad, Gymnast Bhavleen Kaur, spiker Saqleen Tariq and Chess star Soham Kamotra are a few outstanding sportspersons to name.
Abdul Samad makes IPL cut
J&K’s talented middle-order batsman, Abdul Samad, who has the ability to
bowl his leg breaks also, has been picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL-2020 in the prestigious auction held at Kolkata, recently.The explosive swashbuckler, Samad got the Franchisee’ nod for his consistent performances in this season’s Syed Mushtaq Ali T20, Vijay Hazare Trophy and in the ongoing Ranji Trophy Tournament. He hit impressive 78 runs, studded with 10 fours and 3 sixes in the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra at Pune today.
Samad has the distinction of producing splendid performances consistently in J&K’s big wins at the Under-19 and the Senior Level. In one of the matches this season against formidable Gujarat, Samad impressed all with his explosiveness by sending the bowlers like Piyush Chawla, Axar Patel and likes on a leather-hunt.
The patronage of Irfan Pathan, mentor J&K Ranji Trophy Team and skipper Parvez Rasool served as a beacon light to guide and goad this gutsy young cricketer to climb the ladder of success and achieve heights.
Samad is the trainee of MA Stadium Coaching Centre, and trains under Sports Council’s Cricket Coach, Randhir Singh.He attributed his success to his parents, coaches and well wishers, besides his sheer-dint of hard work and dedication. He said that he will leave no stone unturned in grabbing this opportunity with both hands to make Jammu and Kashmir proud.
Saqlain represents India in Asian Volleyball C’ship
International Volleyball Player Saqlain Tariq from border town of Poonch District represented India in 3rd Asian Men’s U-23 Volleyball Championship held at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from August 3 to August 11, 2019. Tariq, who earlier played the Pro-Volleyball League, was called for the Senior and Junior Indian Camps on the basis of his performance in national and Pro-Volleyball League championships.
Saqlain Tariq, who belongs to District Poonch, has already represented India in 10th Asian Youth Volleyball Championship held at Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2014 as a Captain of the team and he also participated in BRICS Games at Johannesburg (South Africa) and won bronze medal in the year 2018.
Munazah Gazi bags silver in Jr Asian Wushu C’ship
Munazah Gazi of Jammu and Kashmir bagged silver medal in 60 kg category of the 10th Junior Asian Wushu Championship at Brunei from August 17 to August 24, 2019.
Prior to this Championship, Wushu Association of India organised 60 days National Coaching Camp at Chandigarh University and 15 days National Coaching Camp at Patiala. The Union Minister for Sports Kren Rijuji congratulated Munazah and other members of Indian team for brilliant performance in the Championship.
Munazah Gazi, who hails from Srinagar and is studying at Presentation Convent School, Srinagar, was selected for the National Camp at SAI Bhopal and the final selection trials were conducted at NS NIS Patiala.
Gymnast Bhavleen steals show
Jammu and Kashmir gymnast Bavleen Kaur stole the limelight at the Khelo India Youth Games after she took home three gold and two silver medals. Bavleen (16) had bagged four medals at the Khelo India School Games in 2018. Bavleen, a trainee of Krupali Patel Singh and SP Singh, says she the secret behind her performances are her coaches. Bhavleen has a lot many achievements in her kitty in this discipline of sports.
Cyclist Bilal dons India colours
With international medals boosting his confidence, Jammu and Kashmir cyclist Bilal Ahmad Dar dreams of representing the country in the Olympics one day.
Hailing from Kawoosa village in Budgam district, the 18-year-old Dar is the first cyclist from Jammu and Kashmir to represent the country. His family cultivates fruits and vegetables and he was spotted during a talent hunt in Srinagar.
Dar won two medals — a silver in the 3km individual pursuit and a bronze in the 4km team pursuit — at the Asian Junior Championships held in Jakarata earlier this year. “I was selected through trials in Jammu and Kashmir. I was the first among all the athletes,” Dar said.
Cycling is not very popular in the Valley but his father and fellow villagers inspired Dar to take up the sport.
“My father used to ride a cycle and then there were a lot of people in my village cycling around that’s how I got the inspiration to ride,” he said.
Jagdev represents gold medal winning Indian Kho-Kho team
J&K’s Jagdev Singh represented Indian men’s Kh-Kho team which won gold medal in 13th South Asian Games held at Kathmandu in Nepal recently.
After inclusion of Kho-Kho in the South Asian Games for the first time in 2016, the defending champions clinched gold medal this time also at Kathmandu.
The Team: Balasaheb Pokarde (Captain), Raju Buchannagari, Sagar Potdar, Shreyas Raul, Akshay Ganpule, Sudarshan, Deepak Madhav, Abhinandan Patil, Satyajit Singh, Suresh Sawant, Muneerbasha Ahamadjohn, Dhanwin Khopkar, Sibin Mailankil, Jagdev Singh and Tapan Paul.
Hiteshwar Singh dazzles
Playing his 2nd World Cup, Hiteshwar Singh of Jammu and Kashmir emerged as the highest goal scorer for the gold medal winner Indian Rollball team in 5th Rollball World Cup held at Chennai in India.
Defending Champion India lead by Adtiya Ganeshwade of Maharahtra defeated Kenya in the final by eight goals to four (8-4), while in the semifinal, India defeated strong Bangladesh by two goals to one (2:1) after trailing by (0-1) at the half time. Enroute to semifinal, India defeated Egypt, Senegal, Belarus, New Zealand, England, Vietnam and Maldives in the league stages.
Madhu Sharma, mentor of Jammu and Kashmir Rollball players was heading the technical panel in this 5th Rollball World Cup.
The members of Rollball Association of Jammu and Kashmir have congratulated the players for this achievement.
Soham Kamotra represents India in World Youth Chess C’ship
Jammu and Kashmir’s ace Chess player Soham Kamotra is a familiar name in the World of Chess. The young and promising Under-16 player, apart from being a State champion from two consecutive years, has the honour of representing India in World Youth Chess Championship held at Mumbai
recently. Soham is the highest rated player in J&K with FIDE rating 2189. He has urged the Government for providing more financial support to outstanding sportspersons in the State and help them to represent J&K at the higher levels.
Para Archers of SMVDSB Sports Complex excel
Para Archers of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Sports Complex have made a mark at the International scene in the year 2019. For his outstanding show, Rakesh Kumar has been picked to represent the Country in Tokyo Olympics-2020. Jyoti Balian won silver medal in the Asian Para Archery Championship held in Thailand during the year.
Chief Coach Handoo’s Indian Wushu team sparkles in World C’ship
Under the guidance of Chief Coach of India, J&K’s Kuldeep Handoo, Indian team secured 4 medals in the World Wushu Championship held at Shanghai this year. The Indian Wushu team secured 2nd consecutive gold in this Championship. Led by Handoo, the Indian Wushu team emerged overall Champion 3rd time in a row in South Asian Games.
Fencer Vansh makes it big
Young fencer, Vansh Mahajan made it big by participating in the World University Games held at Napoli in Italy from July 3 to 14, 2019. He has earlier represented the country in Junior Cadet Commonwealth Fencing Championship at Cape Town, South Africa, Junior World Cup at Russia and Junior World Championship in Italy, Navy open Fencing Championship at Bangkok, Junior Fencing Championship at Singapore, Thailand Open Fencing Championship at Thailand. Vansh is a recipient of Sher-e-Kashmir Sports Award and Rangil Singh Sports Excellency Award presented by the J&K Olympic Association. Javed Ahmed was another fencer to participate in World University Games.
Ace athlete Kapil’s book becomes best seller
Ace athlete of the State, 45-year old Jammu man Kapil Arora’s book 5 Management Secrets of Ultra successful people have become a best seller and the author has achieved a sobriquet ‘Amazon Best Selling Author’. Kapil after blossoming in South Africa, many a time, in various adventurous events including the most gruelling and the oldest ultra marathon in the world namely ‘Comrades Marathon’ for four consecutive years earlier, besides marathon at Thailand in Indonesia and prestigious Ironman Championship held at Rio de Janeiro, the Capital of Brazil, has sparkled and kept his State’s/Country’s Flag high by doing miracles in all mega events. He has also the distinction of dazzling in Athletics at Auckland in New Zealand.
Bilquis continues to produce International stuff
Ace Water Sports Coach of J&K, rather chief coach of India, Bilquis Mir, who has the reputation of producing International stuff from Jammu and Kashmir, continued her brilliance this year also. She has the honour of receiving a galaxy of prestigious awards for her contribution in the field of Water Sports.
J&K’s sports experts represent country as technical officials, managers
Experts in the field of sports from Jammu and Kashmir represented the country as top brass technical officials and managers. Leading from the front was SSP Dushyant Sharma, former International Wrestler who was the Chef de Mission of Indian contingent in recently held South Asian Games at Kathmandu in Nepal, while Aman Sharma was appointed National Selector by the Basketball Federation of India. Rajan Sharma accompanied the Indian Boxing team as coach, while Dr SM Bali and Inspector Rashid also made it to the tours with Indian squads during 2019.
Though, the sports and games in general were on the path of progression in 2019, yet there were some stumbling-blocks which hampered the promotion of specific sports disciplines. However, the progressive graph of many sports disciplines remained unchanged in 2019.
Record participation in Khelo India Games
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a record participation in Khelo India Games for second consecutive year. Over 1, 60, 000 sportspersons took part in these Games to vie for the top honours. The data entries of all the players have been made to make a pool of talented sportspersons in order to help Jammu and Kashmir carve a space on the country’s sports map. A big number of sportspersons have made a mark in these Games.
Secretary YSS, DG Sports establish Khel Gaon as sporting hub
Secretary Youth Services and Sports J&K, Sarmad Hafeez and Director General YS & Sports, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman took a big initiative of establishing Khel Gaon Nagrota as a sporting hub in Jammu. 65th National School Games in the discipline of Volleyball Under-17 boys were organised by the Department of Youth Services and Sports J&K, under the banner of School Games Federation of India (SGFI) at this venue recently, which was a big success. This sports facility can cater to the needs of thousands of sportspersons in the disciplines of Athletics, Volleyball, Basketball, Handball, Kho-Kho and Shooting. Moreover, there is also an option of developing a water sports facility at this venue. It is simply an asset to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Real Kashmir down Chennai City at home
Taking advantage of the home conditions, Real Kashmir scored their first victory of the ongoing I League season with a shock 2-1 defeat of defending champions Chennai City as sporting action returned to the valley after four months.
Danish Farooq (22nd minute) and Ivory’s Bazie Armand (27th) struck for the winners while Syed Suhail Pasha was the lone scorer for the visitors in the 48th minute. Real Kashmir had drawn their away matches against Kolkata giants East Bengal and Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) of Imphal before taking on the holders in front of a packed TRC Ground. The match was the first sports event in the valley after the centre withdrew special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories.