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Jammu, Jan 15 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir, which hosts the fifth National Winter Games at its world famous ski resort of Gulmarg next month, will also stake for the first Commonwealth Winter Games in 2010, Sate Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Chairing a meeting late yesterday, Mr Azad said he would take up the matter with Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi when the latter arrives here in connection with the fifth National Winter Games, which are going to be held at Gulmarg between February 18 to 22.

Emphasising on the need for putting in place all facilities for the participants to make the National Winter Games a successful sports event, he said the participation of sportspersons from across the country would focus Gulmarg as an important winter destination.

Mr Azad said he would also explore, through the Ministry of External Affairs, the possibility of inviting skiers from the Embassies and the High Commissions in New Delhi to take part in the event.

About 500 sportspersons from 18 teams of ten states, besides J and K, are participating in the National Winter Games.

The teams participating in the event include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Border Security Force, Indian Navy, Army Sports Control Board, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Indo Tibetan Border Police, GMVN and WHVN (Manali).

The events to be held during the six day sports carnival, include slaloma, giant slaloma and snow board in alpine skiing, free style (men and women) in cross country and figure skating and speed skating (men and women) and ice hockey for men in skating rink category.

The torch of the 5th National Winter Games will be taken from Delhi and travel through Auli in Uttar Pradesh and Srinagar before reaching Gulmarg.

The inaugural function will include a march past by participating teams and display of martial arts.

UNI VJ CS RN1428

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