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Khasi Kayakers set to make waves at ICF World Cup; Eyeing spot in Paris Summer Olympics

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SHILLONG, MAY 22: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met and interacted with the three kayakers, Elizabeth Vincent, Batskhem Nongbak and Pynshngain Kurbah, all three who are eligible to represent India at international events.

Elizabeth Vincent from Ribhoi being the sole athlete from Meghalaya has qualified to compete in the ICF World Cup, Prague to held in June, 2024. The winners of the World Cup will be competing in the Paris Summer Olympics 2024.

While interacting with the athletes present the Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma said, “My idea was to really, just come spend some time with you and to congratulate all the qualifiers. As your Chief Minister, I’m very proud of you. The way you have performed in such a short period of time.” Chief Minister inaugurated the Rafting Project at Umtham Village in July 2023.

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Additionally, the three athletes, Elizabeth Vincent, Batskhem Nongbak and Pynshngain Kurbah, are now eleigible to be part of the India team participating in the International Canoe Slalom Tournament which will be held in Russia in September this year.

Elizabeth Vincent, 26, who has also qualified for the World Cup, started her training with her coach and father, Ian Vincent near Umtham village. She has represented Meghalaya in multiple national events including the National Games, the Malabar River Festival, and the Tawangchu Tides Festival in Arunachal Pradesh.

Batskhem Nongbah aged 18 and Pynshngain Kurbah aged 19, have both participated in the Khelo India Games 2022. Batskhem Nongbak hailing from Umtham village who is also trained by Ian Vincent, works as a daily wage labourer with a dream to pursue sports, competes in tournaments.

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Pynshngain Kurbah from Labyrwa started paddling at a young age with his coach Ian Vincent and secured a silver medal at the Khelo India Games 2022. He has also represented Meghalaya at the Malabar River Festival and events in Madhya Pradesh.

Sangma interacted with the three athletes, coaches and officials from Meghalaya. Also, present in the event were Dr. Wilbur Manners, President, MCA, Shri Zorba Laloo, Member, MCA and coach, Shri Ian Vincent.

Umtham Village, Ribhoi has become host of water sporting events with the Megha Kayak Fest, an international white water kayaking competition hosted six editions so far, rafting and the IKCA Selection Trials held on 18th and 19th May 2024.

Also Read: State Govt aims promoting local films in dedicated theatres & OTT platform

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