Asian Games Medal Winners Felicitated

OCA 19th Summer Asian Games 2022 – Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China – concluded after days

The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka held a ceremony at the Hemasiri Fernando Auditorium of the Olympic House in Colombo to felicitate the medal winners at the above Games, which was delayed for more than a year due to COVID 19 related issues. Sri Lanka secured 01 Gold, 02 Silver & 03 Bronze medals,finishing in 26th position in the medal tally.

The promise of more scientific training for the deserving sports / athletes targeting the upcoming Olympic Games in France & next Asian Games in Japan in addition to the upcoming Asian Athletic Championship in South Korea was urged & principally accepted. It was also notified that the Men’s & Mixed Relay teams should be sent to participate in the World Athletics Relay Championships to be held in Bahamas in May, 2024 as they are capable of reaching the qualifying standards for the Olympic Games. It was also revealed that it would be the only opportunity to achieve this qualifying standard.

It was also acknowledged that sending the relay teams to Hangzhou well in advance was also a contributory factor for them being medal winners. The role of the Medical Team & the use of Sports Science ( in a small way ) was also a helpful aspect for athletes in many sports to be injury free. The Ministry of Sports & Youth, the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka & the respective National Sports Associations are now expected to adhere to a National Plan to uplift the standard of athletes with Sports Science also being a vital part of this process. The Women’s cricket team enjoying a period of unprecedented success in the International arena, was requested to keep up the good results in the future too.

The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka revealed that they are in the process of speaking to various sponsors to find the finances to sustain these elite athletes to uplift their performances in the world stage. The national sports associations & administrators were advised to prepare well in advance & meet deadlines in participation / logistics.

The Secretary General – NOCSL, Maxwell De Silva recalled an Asian Games medal after 2014 in South Korea & multiple medals in Asian Games Athletics after 2006 in Qatar was a measure of commitment on the part of the competitors & administrators. Chief de Mission – Nishantha Piyasena & Director General – Sports, Dr. Rear Admiral Shemal Fernando also addressed the gathering.

Some key medal winners were not present. The media was also invited for the occasion.

Report assisted by Charuni Dissanayake. Photos by Thusith Wijedoru – both on behalf of NOCSL Media

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