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Jordan starts Asian Winter Games participation

By JT - Feb 23,2017 - Last updated at Feb 23,2017

AMMAN — Jordan has launched its participation at the 8th Asian Winter Games with Suhail Azzam competing in the Giant Slalom in Sapporo, Japan, according to the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC)  News Service.

On a difficult course in which 25 per cent of competitors failed to finish, Suhail successfully completed both of his runs to boost his confidence ahead of his second event, the Slalom, on Friday.

Meanwhile his teammate, Sara Sukhtian, has revealed why she answered the late call to enter the 8th Asian Winter Games by explaining “I hope that it opens the door for more regular Jordan participation in the future”.

The 37-year-old will compete in Thursday’s Giant Slalom in Sapporo, Japan, after agreeing only last month to step in following an invitation from the Olympic Council of Asia.

“It is very important for Jordan to be represented at this event as it gives Jordanian athletes from around the world who excel at winter sports the opportunity to compete at an international level,” Sara said.

“Although Jordan’s natural geography is not conducive for winter sports, I’m certain of the fact that there are many Jordanian expats around the world who have picked up these winter sports and would appreciate the opportunity to participate. Our participation this week raises awareness of those opportunities.”

Sara has been a keen skier since she was three but is making her competitive debut in Sapporo. She says the experience will be one to cherish and her expectations are realistic.

“I am in a field of athletes who have dedicated themselves to these sports so I expect to learn a lot,” she added. “I nevertheless hope to make Jordan proud and pave the way for future athletes to participate.

I also hope to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate to young Jordanians that the most important thing is not to win but to take part, leading by example.

I am really proud that the JOC is going out of its way to increase Jordanian participation in these international games, and I would encourage any athlete with such ambitions to reach out to the JOC and sign up to represent Jordan.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the JOC for this great chance to represent Jordan.”

Sukhtian completed her Giant Slalom competition by finishing a credible 22nd.

Despite facing a tricky course that several competitors were unable to complete, Sukhtian finished both her runs and place above two competitors from Pakistan and another from Mongolia to ensure Jordan has an official time for future compatriots to target.

“It was important for us to be represented here and show the Olympic Council of Asia that Jordan is serious about competing in winter sports events,” she said.

“I am really pleased to have finished. It was a very challenging course so I am delighted with what was achieved. I hope that other Jordanians with a passion for winter sports will see that there is an opportunity for them to compete for their country in the future.”

The event was won by Japan’s Emi Hasegawa.

Meanwhile, Sukhtian’s teammate Suhail Azzam also completed the men’s Giant Slalom yesterday and will go in the Slalom on Friday.

 

The 8th Asian Winter Games got under way on Sunday and will welcome almost 1,000 athletes from 32 countries. It will finish on February 26.

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