Kashmir’s top cyclist Muhammad Akber Khan on Monday bagged second gold medal in the ongoing All India Inter-University cycling event at Amritsar.
Akber, who plays for TCI Max, is representing Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar at the event, won his second straight medal in 100-kilometers mass start.
Known for his sprint ability, Akber remained with the bunch almost till the end and then went on to finish ahead of others for the gold.
On Sunday, he became first cyclist from J&K to win medal in 60-kilometre Inter-University cycling event.
“It was a tough competition and results were declared through video analyses. My coach had told me to stay in bunch till the finish. He had instructed other cyclists of GNDU to support me till the finish as I am known for my sprinting ability. At finish I was head to head with other riders but owing to my better finishing ability I managed to finish first,”
Akber is the first International cyclist of the State and also the only double national gold medalist. With this double medal tally in All India Inter-University event, he boosted his medal tally to four national medals.
The talented only International cyclist of Kashmir recently had joined GNDU Amritsar after being offered admission on sports quota. He was earlier student Kashmir University studying Masters in Physical Education. However while he was in Indian national camp he was declared reappear in the first semester examination.
In June, Akber who hails from Beerwah area of Budgam, received imported cycle worth rupees 2.75 lakhs , former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who is local MLA of the area. It was first competition after getting new equipment and in that Akber excelled.
“The difference between our sports administrators in Kashmir and outside State is that they recognize talent and promote it. In Kashmir, our administrators instead of promoting and nurturing talent find ways to push it back. That is what happened with me Kashmir University,” Akber said.
“In GNDU I have been provided all the facilities that a sports persons dream off. Though I was given admission on sports quota but I had to go through selection process for being part of team in the All India event. They are professionals and help players who have got the potential. I hope KU officials and other sports departments learn something from the Sports Administrators like that of GNDU,” he added.
Meanwhile J&K Sports Development Association (JKSDA) President, Bashir Ahmad Malik has hailed the achievement and said, “It is irony that we fail to recognize talent and who then excel for other States. To become first cyclist of J&K to get medal in Inter-University competition is no mean achievement. He deserves praise for his hard work and dedication”.