Srinagar, June 10: Srinagar cyclist Adil Altaf has brought laurels to Jammu and Kashmir by bagging silver medal in the Khelo India Youth Games being played at Punchkala, Haryana.
Adil achieved this feat on Friday morning at 6 am while finishing second, by covering a distance of 28 Kilometres taking a time of 52 minutes and 22 seconds.
He competed with 20 top cyclists from across India in the junior U19 category in individual time trial events.
However, Gold went to Mukash Kumar Kaswan of Rajasthan who stood first by taking 45 minutes 38 seconds to finish the race.
Adil was assisted by Physical Trainer Instructor Government Degree College Soibugh, Budgam, Dr. Mohd Akbar Khan as Coach cum Manager.
Hailing from Lal Bazar area in central Kashmir's Srinagar district, 18- years-old, Adil is currently studying commerce in 12th standard at Kashmir Harvard School, Habak Naseem Bagh.
Adil started his cycling journey at the age of 15 and since then he kept improving with each passing day.
For the past three years, Adil has been securing several medals including Gold and silver medals in open category at state level in 2020.
"I started my cycling journey at the age of 15 and since then I have been bagging several medals at state level and attained positions in first five's in nationals," Adil told Rising Kashmir.
Son of a tailor, Shah Altaf, Adil took part in cycling for the first time at his school Kashmir Harvard when an 8 kms cycling event was organised there.
"For the past six months, I have been training at NIS Patiala for this event, " he says.
He credits his success to parents, his school management and people of the valley.
"I am happy to have won the silver medal for J&K and dedicate it to my parents, my school and the people of J&K, “he said.
Being from a humble background, professional cycling was never easy as he always lacked equipment for which he had to depend upon sponsors. But SBI sponsorship served as a boon at the time when he needed it the most.
He says that it was impossible without support from State Bank of India (SBI) Lal Bazar Branch, who bought me a cycle ( MTB bike) costing Rs.4.5 lacs.
While speaking to Rising Kashmir Dr. Akbar Khan said that he is hopeful that Adil will bring more laurels to J&K at national and international level in coming times as he has great potential for cycling.