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All-Kashmiri-team to represent India at FIS championship in Iran

Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 8:30am IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: dna

For those who stereotype Kashmiris, this should be the eye opener.

For the first time India will be represented by all-Kashmiri team at the prestigious FIS (Federation of International Skiing) Asian Junior Alpine Ski Championship in Iran.

The nine day event (February 27- March 7) will see Syed Hania, Azlan Abid and Wasiq-ul-Billa, all Kashmiri students, in action for Slalom and Giant Slalom events. Syed Hania is the only girl in the three member playing team who will be vying for the top slot.

The team is led by the ace woman skier Hafeeza Hassan, who is the veteran of 1986 Asian games. Hafeeza is playing a dual role of manager and the coach of the team.
This is the second time this year that the athletes from Jammu and Kashmir have been selected for the prestigious international events.

Indian army Havildar Nadeem Iqbal, hailing from Rajouri district, was one of the three sportsmen who represented the country at the recently concluded Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia.

"Many Kashmiris have represented the country in the past. But this time the whole group is from Kashmir", Muhammad Yousuf, treasurer Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir (WGAJK) told dna.

The selection of the team was done on the basis of their performances in the ski championship held at Gulmarg. After analyzing the performances of varied participants Winter Games Federation of India selected all Kashmiri team for the event in Iran.

"These athletes had performed exceptionally well in the last Junior National Ski Championship held at Gulmarg. Their selection is purely on merit basis. The team shall participate in Slalom and Giant Slalom events", said Yousuf.

Syed Hania, 18, is an ace skier who had participated in various tourneys. Particularly she has an expertise in Slalom and Giant Slalom events.

"She recently joined the Jammu Medical College after she was selected for MBBS. She has participated in winter sports activities for long.

Two other boys are also students who have also done exceptionally well in the tournaments", said Yousuf.

WGAJK is expecting a strong performance by the team which has already created waves at the national level. "We hope they will do well. They have everything that a team needs. They have been trained by good hands. Plus they have a coach who participated in Asian games", said an official.

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