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Slovakia wins International River Rafting Championship held at Thatri Doda
The Slovakian Rafting team won gold by emerging as the overall champion of the first International River Rafting Championship, held on River Chenab at Thathri in district Doda of Jammu and Kashmir.

Slovakian team, comprising Viladmir, Knitko Peter, Karol Marton, Tomas Skepka, Michal Rechtorocia and Michal Stole won three out of four events by beating Czech, Austrailian, Indian Army and Nepali teams by winning head to head Slalom and downriver events. Indian Army won Sprint event and became over-all runner-up. The Slovakia team members have emerged world champions several times.

The five-day International Championship from February 24th to 28th was first of its kind held on river Chenab. It was judged by IRF (International Rafting Federation) members Jeo Wills and Natalia. Seven teams from around the world including two from India participated.

Assistant Director Tourism Tariq Naik said, “It was a sort of dream, when our department proposes to organise this international event on river Chenab in this far off district Doda which is famous for its rich culture, unique topography besides rarest of flora and fauna. We are hopeful that by organizing this event, a message will go to out-side world regarding the potential of adventure tourism activities.”

Tariq was all praises for Natalia from Slovakia, an IRF member for making this event a huge success, which has brought the otherwise neglected district on international tourism and sports map. Natalia, who has been racing, judging and organizing the rafting championships all around the world for the last 15 years, seems to be completely mesmerised by the rapids of mighty Chenab. “The rapids were big, consistently grade three or four. Chenab has got all the potential to become an international destination of not only commercial rafting but also for hiking, big horse riding, rock climbing and trekking,” she said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government, in its effort to boost tourism in far off areas of the state fully supported the event.

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