Thursday Feb 20, 2020
In the first-ever International Snowboarding Championship 2020 at Swat's Malam Jabba, three Pakistanis clinched the top three positions.
In the competition, Irfan Khan bagged gold, while Imad Ali and Irshad Ali clinched silver and bronze medals, respectively.
A large number of local and foreign tourists, lovers of snow games thronged the scenic Malam Jabba ski resort to take part in the International Snowboarding Championship and enjoy the event.
“By winning this title, I feel overjoyed as my efforts got paid off today,” said Irfan Khan, while pointing out that he had been waiting for such an opportunity since 2016. “There were some foreign and experienced players in the game which made the competition a bit tough,” he added.
Speaking at the valley situated at 9, 000-feet altitude, PTI leader Dr Haider Ali Khan said: "The entire world has called Pakistan the best place for tourism and the credit goes to Prime Minister Imran Khan."
Praising the management, the PTI leader expressed that the event was wonderful and that such sporting competitions should take place on a regular basis.
Additional slopes at Malam Jabba will eventually boost adventure tourism, which has immense potential to emerge as an arena for winter sports in the country.
Talking to APP, some 30 local and foreign players passionately called for setting up additional slopes at this scenic spot with 9, 000-feet altitude in Swat valley.
More events like Long Marathon Race in snow were also on the cards to boost tourism activities in the area.
"Malam Jabba has immense potential for winter sports and adventure tourism which requires proper branding and marketing to lure tourists from across the Europe who are a bit more obsessed with games like skiing and snowboarding,” said Niel, a snowboarder from the Netherlands.
Niel, who grabbed first position in ‘Parallel Giant Slalom’ of the International Snowboarding Championship 2020 that concluded on Tuesday, said people from the Netherlands felt comfortable to visit Pakistan as it offered safe and hospitable environment to the tourists.
"I think Pakistan will soon emerge as top tourist destination of the world."
He said the efforts of Pakistani government to open up the doors to world were remarkable, adding it deserved appreciation for providing best infrastructure to its youth for winter sports lover.