For the first time in the history of Beach Volleyball (BVB) in Sri Lanka (SL), 2 youth teams [Under (U)-21] have qualified for the World Youth Beach Volleyball Championships from July 11 to 16 in Nanjing, China.
BVB was introduced to SL in 1992 at the first National BVB Championships held at Bentota Beach. Hence, SL has a history of only 15 years in BVB.
SL has completed 100 years in VB and, in a short space of time, BVB is all set to overtake VB.
SL participated in an Asian BVB Tournament in 2003, in Thailand.
Though SL failed to impress at the contest, there were signs the island nation had the potential to forge further ahead in the game.
SL won its first medal, Silver, at the Asia Pacific BVB Championships in Bangladesh in 2009, with Wasantha Ratnapala and Mahesh Perera.
The same year, at the Asian Youth Games in Singapore, Sandun Madusanka and Ashen Fernando representing SL, were unable to win a medal, but emerged Group 'B' champions and ranked 5th in Asia.
At the 2011 SAG Games held in Hambantota, SL, the home team bagged both Men and Women Golds.
The Men’s team was Mahesh Perera and Wasantha Ratnapala, and the Women’s team was Geethika Gunewardena and Thakshila Niranjali.
This was the only occasion that SL won Gold at BVB.
At the 2014 Lucafonia Games in Goa, India, SL Men and Women won Silver.
The Men’s team was Wasantha Rathnapala and Mahesh Perera, and the Women’s team was Thakshila Niranjali and Geethika Gunewardena.
SL also qualified for the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
SL was represented by Chamika Sandaruwan and Isuru Madusanka, but did not win any medals.
In March this year, in Roi Et, Thailand, at the Asian U-21 BVB Championships, SL were represented by 4 Men and 4 Women.
The 4 Men were K.D. Ranga Prabath, Asahen Rashmika, Tharindu Madushanka and Mihiranga Udayakumara.
The Women’s team was made up of Hasini Malsha Primali, Tharaki Nelum Priyadarshani, Shehani Asanga and Ramesha Madushani Peiris.
In the Men’s tournament of 10 teams, SL beat Vietnam 2-1, beat Kazakhstan 2-1 and lost 0-2 to China.
Thus qualifying for the World Championships.
In the Women’s tournament of 19 teams, SL came within the top 6 and also qualified for the World Youth BVB Championships.
The Men’s team coach was former International BVB player Mahesh Perera, while the Women’s team coach was Sajith Nandasiri.
“SL has progressed successfully in the sport in a short space of time. The SL team for the world event will be picked from among these players- 2 Men and 2 Women,” said SLVB Federation Secretary A.S. Nalaka, speaking on SL’s progress in BVB.
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