A five-member rafting team from India is participating in Senior World Rafting Championships at Tunceli city of Turkey. This is the first time that the Indian team is participating in the world rafting championship.
Four athletes and a coach-cum-reserve player from Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS), Manali, are representing the country in the championships being organized by World Rafting Federation (WRF) and Turkish Rafting Federation (TRF). The event is being organized in the Munzur river from June 8 to 13. The Indian team reached Tunceli on Sunday morning and did some practice runs to warm up. The opening ceremony was held on Sunday evening and competition will start from Monday.
Gimnar Singh, Naveen Kumar, Akshat Kumar and Panne Lal are the athletes while ABVIMAS director Colonel Neeraj Rana is the coach and reserve athlete. The competitions will consist of downriver, 600m sprint, 1.2km slalom and cross country. Over 20 countries are participating in the championships.
Col Neeraj Rana said they got an invitation from Turkish Rafting Federation based on their performances in national games. “ABVIMAS team had won first prize in national rafting championship in Satluj river last year. This is the first time that our country is taking part in the world rafting championship. After some warm-up runs, we are sure about good performance,” he said.
Tunceli is the home to 36-km-long Munzur river. The city which had hosted Turkey Rafting Championship in May last year is hosting world championship for the first time. TRF has spent a huge amount on the improvement of the infrastructure in the city and has developed two courses – one for training and warm up and other for main races.