New Delhi: Skier Arif Khan, the only athlete representing India at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, left for the Games in the Chinese capital along with Chef De Mission Harjinder Singh and support staff. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra wished the contingent luck before its departure for the Games on Monday.
Arif, who will participate in two events, is aiming for a modest top-30 finish in the showpiece which begins on Friday.
The Indian team will return on February 19, Batra said.
Hailing from Jammu and Kashmir’s Gulmarg, Arif will take part in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events in Beijing. His events are scheduled to take place on February 13 and 16.
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The 31-year-old Arif had previously competed at the 2017 Asian Winter Games held in Sapporo.
The IOA had appointed the Ice Hockey Association of India’s general secretary, Harjinder, as the Chef de Mission of the country’s contingent for the Winter Olympics last December. The skier, who was included in the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) recently, also said that his performances have improved and his training in Santa Catarina ”was helpful”.
As far as the expectations from the Games is concerned, he said recently, ”I have been training over a couple of years seriously and my expectation is to be in the world’s top 30. To be in the top 30 is like medal winners in the world.” Skiing since his childhood, Arif has previously participated in international championships extensively.