Manali: Two Manali skiers -- Hira Lal and Himanshu Thakur -- have made India proud by qualifying for Winter Olympics to be held at Sochi, Russia from February 7 next year.
Ace skiers, Hira and Himanshu, hailing from Manali have attained the required FIS points in yesterday`s qualifying race held at Turkey and would represent the country in Alpine Skiing category, Roshan Thakur, General Secretary, Winter Games Federation of India WGFI (WGFI) said here Friday.
Aanchal Thakur, another budding Skier from Manali is attempting to qualify for Alpine Skiing and is just few points behind.
Thakur further informed that this was result of three years of hardwork of these Skiers who had to race more than 35 FIS races in Europe, Newzealand and Japan to attain the qualifying points.
He rued that in the absence of any financial support from the government these players have to fend for themselves and had shelled more than Rs 10 lakhs to achieve this feat.
Another Athlete from Manali, Shiva Keshvan is representing India for a record fifth time in Luge competition in Sochi Winter Olympics.
Shiva, an Asian Speed record holder is the brightest hope among Indian contingent to gain a medal in Winter Olympics.
However, it is prudent to mention that if IOA (Indian Olympics Association) which is currently suspended by the International Olympics committee, does not hold its elections before?2 February, 2014, all these Skiiers have to participate in?the Winter Olympics at Sochi under the banner of IOC, which will be a great disappointment for these players.
Meanwhile, due to lack of proper infrastructure, the National Winter Games venue has been shifted from Manali to Kashmir and the games will be held in February next year.