Srinagar 6th June 2023: The fencing duo of Vishal Thappar and Rishika Khajuria have made J&K proud by securing a place in the number of international events slated this year.
While Vishal trained for almost ten years in the fencing center of J&K Sports Council at M.A Stadium and for the last two years he has been training at center NCOE Patiala. Both fencers have been honing their skills under the tutelage of Tshotu Lal, renowned fencing instructor of J&K Sports Council.
Rishika who is elated at her selection said that these are very prestigious tournaments and based on her performance in these events, she can improve her world ranking besides an opportunity to compete with the best players in the world will surely add invaluable experience to enhance my skills and techniques.
Pertinently the Fencing Association of India (FAI) conducted the selection trials on 5th June for the Indian Fencing Team comprising of both Women and Men, to participate in the upcoming international events including the Senior Asian Championships scheduled to be held later this month in Wuxi, China, Senior World Championships slated for next month in Milan, Italy, and Asian Games to be held in the month of September in Hangzhou, China.
Prior to the selection trials, the fencing association had requested the respective departments and educational institutions to grant the fencers special permission for attending the trials. The fencers were put through a battery of combined selection trials for three competitions and had to submit medical fitness certificates mentioning the psychological status of the player as a prerequisite.
While congratulating the fencing duo, Sarmad Hafeez Secretary of Youth Services & Sports said the hard work and dedication of star fencers has paid off with this remarkable feat. In his message to the fencers he said, “Keep up the excellent work and strive for even greater achievements in future tournaments, your success is not only a source of pride for J&K but also an inspiration for youngsters everywhere.” In his appeal to other athletes of the union territory, Sarmad Hafeez asked them to continue representing both J&K and the country with passion and integrity and show the world that we are second to none.
Seconding Sarmad Hafeez’s opinion, Secretary J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull said that the accomplishments of Vishal and Rishika are a reminder of the potential and talent that youngsters of J&K possess. They are a true inspiration for others and a testament to the power of hard work and dedication, she added. Gull said that J&K Sports Council will keep supporting and encouraging all others waiting in the wings to realize their potential and achieve even greater heights in their respective sporting careers.
The exhilarated coach Tshotu Lal said that Fencing came to India as a sport in 1974 and was recognized by the sports ministry in 1997. In J&K administration has given a lot of support and much-needed attention to the sport and no wonder hard work coupled with facilities is paying off big time.
While congratulatory messages are pouring in from all corners of J&K, the member of J&K Sports Council Ranjit Kalra said it is heartening to see the athletes who are the produce of J&K Sports Council nurseries are making it big, their hard work and dedication have brought glory not only to themselves but to the whole union territory.
The council will always provide support and resources for the development of sports in J&K, and ensure many more young athletes can achieve success in their chosen fields, Kalra added.
Meanwhile, five U-16 footballers from J&K have been shortlisted for the Zonal selection trials for North Zone to be held in DMA Football Academy Ropar Punjab from 7th June.
The five J&K footballers include Arnav Sharma, Abdul Salah S. Gojri, Ayaan, and Hashim Bilal. They were shortlisted during selection camps conducted in both Jammu and Srinagar for three days under the watchful eyes of top-notch coaches and former international players including Ahmad Ishfaq.
The five footballers are nearing a chance to be part of the national team that is going to participate in the SAFF games to be held in Bhutan.
Pertinently out of the five shortlisted players, Salah and Ayaan have been training in the J&K Sports Council Football Academy.