NALTAR/ ISLAMABAD: Ukrainian, Turkish and Pakistani Skiers competed each other in different categories of the 3rd Serena Hotels-CAS Karakoram International Alpine Ski Cup; however, Ukrainian dominated the event as TSIBELENKO Levko and NARIICHYN Andriy in men’s categories, while Tetyana Tikun and Anastasia Gorbunova remained invincible in the women’s categories. USTA Berkin from Turkey was the only player who could overthrow their dominance by winning the Men’s Giant Slalom category. Local players including Mohammad Karim, Umama Wali and Jia Ali also had a wonderful run in the races from Pakistan side.
The nail-biting Ski races, featuring International and National athletes held here at the enchanting PAF Ski Resort. 40 Skiers from 13 countries including Pakistan, Greece, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan participated in this grand event. These athletes took part in the slalom and giant slalom categories of the FIS races. The days carried in their lap some breathtaking performances, full of intensity and excitement which is the hallmark of winter sports. The foreign players appreciated the immaculate arrangements for the event and showed their desire to come again for racing in the majestic mountains of Pakistan.
Ukrainians clinched two positions each in both men and women slalom races in the international event. TSIBELENKO Levko remained unassailable in the Men’s Slalom Category while his countryman NARIICHYN Andriy got the third position. Local sensation Muhammad Karim put up a spectacular show by finishing second in the same category of this momentous international event.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Slalom event Ukraine proved unbeatable as two Ukrainians Tikun Tetyana and Anastasia Gorbunova carried on with their superb performance from the last day’s giant Slalom event, winning both 1st and 2nd positions respectively. Pakistani skier, Gia Ali stunned her rivals in the race with her superb performance and remained 3rd in the event.
Competing in the FIS races against the highly ranked skiers of the world has offered an excellent opportunity to Pakistani athletes to showcase their talent at international level and learn from their competitors’ experience.
Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan, in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force was earnestly working for the promotion of winter sports in the country and holding such events would not only boost the tourism opportunities in the splendid mountains and valleys of Pakistan but also project a positive image of the country in the comity of nations.
Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, the Patron-in-Chief of Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan Prize distributed medals and awards among the winners of event here.
Addressing the ceremony, the Air Chief thanked the international players for their participation in these events and hoped that they would take along cherished memories of Pakistan’s magnificent beauty and traditional hospitality. He urged the foreign players to act as the ambassadors of Pakistan and portray the true picture of this land of wonders in their respective countries. Acknowledging the sincere contributions of Serena Hotels in the promotion of Winter Sports in the country, he invited the corporate sector to sponsor young and talented players in this exciting sport.
He further said that Pakistan Air Force in collaboration with Serena Hotels has chalked out a comprehensive plan to promote Winter Sports in the snowy mountains of Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also lauded the efforts of Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan in the promotion of winter sports in the country and added that it would not only help in finding new talent but also promote tourism industry in the country.
The chief guest awarded medals and cash prizes to the winning players. Ukrainians carried the day asLevko TSIBELENKO won 01 gold and 03 silver medals, while his countryman Andriy MARIICHYN won 01 gold and 03 bronze medals in the Slalom and Giant Slalom categories of both International events. The Giant Slalom category was dominated by Usta Berkin from Turkey, who clinched both gold medals in the races. Pakistani Olympian, Muhammad Karim won 01 silver and 01 bronze medal in the Slalom category.
In the women events, Ukrainian duo, Tetyana Tikun with 03 golds & 01 silver whereas Anastasia Gorbunova with 01 gold and 03 silver medals remained unassailable in both categories. Pakistani skier Umama Wali also performed well in the women events and ended on the podium with 03 bronze medals while her compatriot Gia Ali could win 01 bronze medal in the Slalom event. Meanwhile, at the national level thecoveted trophy for 26th National Ski Championship was awarded to PAF.