Herath, Sashiranga for S’pore YOG

By Rangi Akbar

Indunil Herath of Walla Central, Manikhinna gets his big break in athletics when he represents Sri Lanka at the first ever Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to be held in Singapore from August 10 to 26.
This young athlete is a promising middle distance runner having done well in the 800 meters. However he will have to compete in the 1000 metres at the YOG in Singapore.

Sri Lanka’s Chef De Mission for the YOG in Singapore Nishantha Piyasena with Chef De Missions of other countries at the Chef De Missions meeting in Singapore.

The other sportsman who has qualified to date for the event is Table Tennis player Hasintha Sashiranga of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda.Sri Lanka is also trying its utmost to have a badminton player, a judoka and a Taekwondo representative for the event as well. The young judoka ear-marked for the event is Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardena and the Taekwondo representative is Malithi Prematilleke.
Sashiranga is the first Sri Lankan table tennis player to qualify after he did well as runner-up at the Asia Qualification Table Tennis Tournament held in Thailand early this month.

Sashiranga played at his personal best to oust Korean number one player in the final 4-2 to annex the Silver. Sashiranga has trained dedicatedly for the event and had even undergone six months training at the Safir Club in Sweden. He had also taken part in the International Table Tennis Championships held in Sweden and Norway during those six months.

Sashiranga was also coached by Jan Berner in Norway and Jagath Rajapakse in France.
The funds to send this youngster for training abroad has been found by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka and by the Ministry of Sports and Sports Development Department.

Hasintha Sashiranga of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda.

Sashiranga also did well at the recent South Asian Games in Bangladesh. Nishantha Piyasena the Chef De Mission of the Sri Lanka team for the YOG attended the meeting of Chef De Missions in Singapore which was graced by the President of the International Olympic Committee Dr. Jacques Rogge as well. The latter had wanted to see for himself the preparations that Singapore is doing for the YOG.

“The preparations are fantastic. The whole thing is projected towards young athletes of the future. The Sri Lankan lads who participate in the event are in for a fantastic time, not only where sports are concerned, but how to move around with other athletes of their ages and a whole lot of other things,” said Nishantha.Nishantha said that he had seen the Olympic Games Village and the sleeping facilities of the athletes and that he can only say that the local athletes are in for a ‘time of their lives.’

During the week when the Chef De Missions met, the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee (SYOGOC) held the Singapore 2010 Culture and Education Programme (CEP) Seminar for 30 Young Ambassadors and 60 CEP Champions, who will promote CEP to the athletes in their NOCs.
Each ticket purchased for the YOG will be accompanied by a Singapore 2010 DBS Visa Prepaid Companion Card that allows the ticket holder to make free rides on buses and trains.

Ticket sales for 158 Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (Singapore 2010) sport competition sessions are on sale now via the Singapore 2010 website. A total of 320,000 tickets priced between S$10 and S$30 are available to interested spectators worldwide through Visa credit card payment.
Tickets for preliminaries, quarter finals and semi finals, and finals are priced at S$10, S$15 and S$30 respectively. With the exception of football, where Jalan Besar Stadium has both covered and open-air seating galleries, tickets to the open-air gallery will be priced at S$5, S$7.50 and S$15 for the above-mentioned event categories.

Each ticket purchased will be accompanied by a Singapore 2010 DBS Visa Prepaid Companion Card that will allow the spectator to a maximum of four Mass Rapid Transit train rides and unlimited bus rides on the day of the event.

There are also three non-ticketed free admission competition events, namely cycling – time trial and road race held at Tampines Bike Park and The Float at Marina Bay, sailing at the National Sailing Centre, and triathlon at East Coast Park.

In addition to individual sport events that are regular to the traditional Olympic Games, Singapore 2010 will have team competitions comprising mixed gender events as well as mixed National Olympic Committees events. It also features sports with different format from the traditional Games, such as basketball, canoe-kayak and modern pentathlon.

Singapore 2010 will be an event where the best young athletes compete, learn and build lasting friendships, as 90 participants of the Singapore 2010 Culture and Education Programme Seminar can attest to.

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