Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Alpine Skiing athlete Md Arif Khan, who has qualified for the Winter Olympics was on Friday included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Core group.
Arif Khan will take part in the Winter Olympics in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. He has also been approved an amount of Rs 17.46 Lakh under TOPS towards training in Europe and procurement of equipment, ahead of the grand event in China.
He won the quota in giant slalom in a competition in Montenegro in December last year. A month prior, he earned the quota place for the Slalom event
The feat earned him an the unique distinction of becoming the first Indian to win direct quota spots in two different Winter Olympics events, besides being the first athlete from the country to seal a berth at the Winter Olympic games 2022.
His current training base is in Austria, where he is accompanied by his coach and physio.
The Sports Ministry’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) approved his inclusion until the Winter Olympics, scheduled this February in Beijing, China.
The MOC approved the European training camp for Khan for a total of 35 days, which started since his qualification for the Winter Olympics..
The Gulmarg-based Arif Khan is the first athlete from the Kashmir Valley to represent the country in the Winter Olympics
He had won two gold medals, in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, at the 2011 South Asian Winter Games, held in Uttarakhand.