National Winter Games torch arrive Srinagar, Games kick-off tomorrow

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Srinagar, Feb 16 (UNI) The torch relay of the fifth National Winter Games, being held on the slopes of Gulmarg, arrived here this afternoon The torch, which was flagged off by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi at New Delhi on February 12 and handed over to veteran Jammu and Kashmir Olympian Gul Mustafa.

After Dehradun, Shimla and Jammu, the tourch reached here this afternoon and will be taken to Gulmarg, about 55 from here in north Kashmir tomorrow.

About 500 sportspersons of 18 different teams of the country would participate in the six-day long winter games, including Alpine skiing, Cross Country, Ice Skating and Ice-hockey.

''So far Kargil and Leh teams reached here and we expect other teams to reach Gulmarg tomorrow'' Farooq Ahmed Shah, Director Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department told a news conference here.

The Games will be declared open at Gulmarg on February 17.

He said Gulmarg was honoured to host the games for the third time. Earlier in 1998 and 2004 Gulmarg hosting first and third National winter games.

''Gulmarg is one of the famous and cheap destinations for skiers and other winter sports across the globe. Besides winter sports, tourists can enjoy the snowy beauty of the Kashmir valley,'' he said.

We have slopes and carrying capacity far better than any other ski resort, he said.

UNI FMH MAG AB RK1825

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