ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Hemasiri disappointed on axing of cycling

Hemasiri Fernando

“The most disappointing aspect of the games is that three disciplines namely rowing, volleyball and cycling have been axed ,” said President of the Sri Lankan National Olympic Committee (NOC) Hemasiri Fernando commenting on his struggle to include cycling into the list of games to be represented by the Sri Lanka contigent headed for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

“I fought hard for cycling in particular because we won six golds at the last edition of the games,” he added.

Expressing his disappointment to The Sunday Times further he said, “Non Olympic sports such as kabaddi and wushu have been included and it was also decided to include hand ball which is played by only four countries having received four votes in a secret ballot.We do not know who the four countries are.”

Disciplines such as rowing and badminton have also been excluded from the next edition of the games. Regarding the South Asian Games (SAG), Fernando said the games would be held in Bangladesh in Novemeber, 2009. Adding that it could be postponed to December, or even January of 2010.

“Although it was originally scheduled for February 2009 a meeting with Bangladesh’s organising committee indicated that they would be having elections in November and required at least a year after that to organise the games. This is nothing new. When Pakistan were the hosts, they postponed the games four times,” Fernando pointed out. Stressed that politics and sport could not go hand in hand and having experienced such instances he said the result would be disastrous. “Now the Olympic Games are being used as a platform for political gain,” he added.

The following are the disciplines that will be held with the hosts reserving the right to include two of their choice; swimming, hockey, squash, kabaddi, karate, wushu, table tennis, athletics, handball, football, weightlifting, shooting and taekwondo.

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