Himalayan Paragliding Championship: Taskerman wins

Written by: Arvind Sharma

Itay Taskerman
Dharamsala, Oct 23: Itay Taskerman of Israel won the seven-day International and Himalayan National Paragliding Championship, 2011, concluded at Bir-Billing on Saturday, Oct 22. Taskerman, who has been maintaining the his lead position since the the championship has begun, was adjudged the overall Champion.

Taskerman secured the first position followed by Anatolij Lomovtsev from Russia and Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa from India who grabbed the second and third position respectively. Itay was honoured with a cash prize of Rs 25,000/ and a Trophy, while Rs 15,000 and Rs 10.000 along with the trophies were presented to Anatolij and Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa. Gurpreet was the only Indian in the first three in FAI, CAT II.

In International FAI, category II for women, Anna Darchenkova from Russia and Daniela Mladenova from Bulgaria were ranked first and second correspondingly and were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 20,000 and 10,000 along with the trophy respectively.

Ringzing Doma Bhutia has been awarded with the consolation prize of the Himalayan Paragliding Championship. Bhutia was the only woman who has participated from India, Sikkim. She was given cash prize of Rs 5000 and a memento.

In Tandem Spot landing Competition which was held on Friday, Pilots number 231 and 232 Surjit and Vinod Kumar on accurate spot landing, secured first position.

Similarly, pair of Surinder (207) and Shubash Thakur (208), and that of Amit kumar (205) and Virendar Kumar (206) ranked second and third respectively. In Tandem Spot landing Competition cash prize of Rs 5,000, 3,000 and Rs 2,000 along with memento was given to the first three pairs respectively.

In Novice Catgory Competition, Prakash Kumar, Desh Raj and Samarath got first and second and third position correspondingly and were awarded with cash prize of Rs 5,000; 3,000 and Rs 2,000 along with memento in sequential order.

The Public Works Department Minister, Gulab Singh Thakur, while speaking on the closing ceremony of the championship, said that it was a matter of pride that more than 220 Paragliders took part in the event and the Department of Youth Services and Sports deserve all kudos for organizing the event successfully.

He also said that the State Government was keen to develop appropriate sports infrastructure for adventure sports in the State as State had one of the world's best site at Bir to host events as Para Gliding, Paramotors, Hang-gliding etc. He also stated that the government, under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, has been putting the best efforts to boost adventure and water-sports in Himachal Pradesh.

At present, the Maharana Pratap Dam, in district Kangra and Chamera (Taleru), in district Chamba, and Govindsagar Lake in Bilaspur were the sites where water sports were being carried out.

The minister said that the Paramotor display by Indian Air Force added attraction to the event and was first of its kind in the State, adding that the officers of Indian Air

Force also deserves appreciation. He said that it was a matter of pride that as many as 27 Pilots from Indian army also participated including around 58 foreign pilots from twelve nations. He said that around 3000 take-off, ie launching had taken place in the competition.

He said that this was for the first time that as many as 225 pilots were provided insurance cover worth Rs 34 crores, which would not only attract the Para gliders to participate in numbers but would also help boost tourism activities in the State in a big way.

The minister, continuing his opinion on the championship, stated that at present the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at Manali and Regional Sports Centre at Dharamsala are providing training to local youth in hiking, trekking and mountaineering.

He also said that the State Government was providing three percent reservation to the sportsperson of Himachal Pradesh who had participated at the National and International level, adding that so far 280 sportsperson were provided jobs in government sector.

The minister also informed that the Department of Youth Services and Sports had done a commendable job by giving budding pilots again a chance this year in Novice Category in the Championship. It did not only encourage the beginners but helped them to exhibit their skills too.

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