Srinagar: It is for the first time that the athletes from Kashmir participated in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) National Championship. The event which was held at Nesco Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, the athletes from Kashmir brought laurels by performing exceptionally well and were successful in bagging 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 6 Bronze medals, adding a feather to the sports talent that is present in the state.
The Championship witnessed the participation of athletes from more than 23 different states, which was held form 12- 14 January this year. During the championship the presence of various international athletes like Kay Green who has been Mr Olympia for at least 5 times, including some film stars as well bolstered the spirit of the participants.
“Their presence on the occasion was indeed a boost for the sport and for athletes as well,” said Malik Asif Noor, Patron MMA Association J&K.
Out of 16 athletes who participated in the Championship, 12 performed exceptionally well and won different medals. The athletes who secured Gold include Munazah Gazi, Tahreem Altaf, Sahil Alam and Arshiq Latief. Those who secured Silver include: Daaib Bilal and Ayeera Chisti.
6 athletes out of 16 secured Bronze, which include players like Umer Mehraj, Behjat Amin, Taaif Comrade, Labeeba Feroz, Imran Yousuf and Ajaz Ayoub.
During the closing ceremony of the championship, J&K team was declared the best team, with most of the medals in their kitty, he added.
While taking to ‘Kashmir Vision’ on phone, Malik Asif Noor which commenting on the performance of the athletes from Kashmir said that they have performed exceptionally well and the performance is going to attract all the eyes towards these players, and especially the sport.
“The performance has been unimaginable, and it has added to the passion for the game when it comes to the athletes who participated in the championship.
Malik Asif Noor, Bilal Ahmad Shah, President MMA Association J&K and Asif Hussian, Coach and General Secretary, MMA Association J&K were facilitated and honoured with a trophy by Allan Fernandez, who was the Chief Coach of India and Vice-President Indian Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA).
The team of 16 athletes was flagged off on 8 January from from Gindun Park, Rajbagh Srinagar in presence of Tanvir Sadiq, Political Secretary to former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.
After the performance went viral on the social media platform, the Association is getting calls from the players across the state, which are willing to join the association to learn the sport and excel in it, “after the performance we got many calls from players who were willing to join the Association,” Asif said.
The Patron seemed hopeful that the sport will gain popularity in the state with more and more youngsters excelling in it and displaying their talent at national and international platforms.
“After the performance of our players, we are hopeful that more and more youngsters will come forward to excel in the sport, and we will be there to train them,” he said.
The state has got immense talent, but the thing is to hone their skill and provide them with a platform, and which is what we are doing at MMA Association J&K, he added.