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Akber Khan becomes first Kashmiri cyclist to bag two gold medals at national level

Sagnik Kundu
487   //    18 Oct 2016, 15:15 IST
Akber Khan
Akber Khan during an earlier competition

Muhammad Akber Khan, Kashmir's prime cyclist claimed his second gold medal at the All India Inter-University cycling event being held at Amritsar. The cyclist won his second medal in the 100-km mass start event, while he won his first medal in the 60-km Inter-University cycling event.

Akber, who is supported immensely by TCI Max, is playing for Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar, in the ongoing Inter-University Championship. Akber remained with the bunch before surging forward right at the end to win the gold medal.

Popular for his sprinting ability, the cyclist became the first from Jammu & Kashmir to win a medal in 60-kilometre Inter-University cycling event on Sunday. He was quoted by Greater Kashmir as saying, "It was a tough competition and results were declared through video analyses. My coach had told me to stay in the bunch until the finish.

"He had instructed other cyclists of GNDU to support me till the finish as I am known for my sprinting ability. At the finish I was head to head with other riders but owing to my better finishing ability I managed to finish first.”

Also read: How a rice farmer's son has sparked Kashmir's cycling revolution near the Indo-Pak border

Akber's medal tally got a boost and now he has bagged four medals overall at the national level. He is the only double national gold medallist and also the only International cyclist from his state. He was offered an admission at GNDU Amritsar on the sports quota recently. Previously he was a student of Kashmir University pursuing a Masters degree in Physical Education.

The youngster, who is from Beerwah area of Budgam, was presented a brand new imported cycle costing Rs. 2.75 lakh from Omar Abdullah, the former Chief Minister. This was the first tournament in which Akber raced with his new cycle and he performed brilliantly.

“The difference between our sports administrators in Kashmir and outside State is that they recognize talent and promote it. In Kashmir, our administrators instead of promoting and nurturing talent find ways to push it back. That is what happened with me Kashmir University,” Akber said.

“In GNDU I have been provided all the facilities that a sports persons dream off. Though I was given admission on sports quota but I had to go through the selection process for being part of the team in the All India event. They are professionals and help players who have got the potential. I hope KU officials and other sports departments learn something from the Sports Administrators like that of GNDU,” he added.

Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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