ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 27

Do we need another Noah’ Arc

* Even with the biggest contingent SL no hope at Asian Games

As the Bible says at a point in history, God who was so angry with the prevailing evil in the world decided to destroy it. There he looked for good people that lived on earth to save them and saw only Noah and his family and decided to save them before he flooded out the rest of the world. In turn Noah built his boat and flocked all animals on to it before hitting the high waters. That was how Noah saved the world.


In these modern times as matter of fact evil rules the world, people have found ways to fly over the high seas may be alone or in their flocks…….ironically sometimes their intentions may be not as pure as Noah who saved the biblical world.

This little episode begins about a saga of some evil beings. To be precise about the flock of persons who are bound for the Doha Asian Games without an iota of certainty that they would comeback to the island with a single medal to their credit.

Musings was surprised when an athletics insider who turned down his offer for a free ride to Doha in sheer disgust about the happenings in the field of athletics in this island nation began his narration.

“Just imagine there is a contingent of about 140 athletes leaving our shores and I will come to an analysis of that later on, but, the biggest factor is that in spite of the contingent being 140 there are 300 people who left our shores as officials/guests for the games. Can anyone in his right mind accept this situation of the team of officials and special guests being bigger than the official athletic contingent itself?

“I am not certain as to how the local NOC machinery work. After the Commonwealth Games, the local IOC chief went on record saying that there will not be anymore passengers in any of the athletic contingents in the future and all teams that will leave our shores go on merit and nothing else. But, this time it seems that they have reversed that statement. This time besides sprinters Susanthika, Rohan Pradeep, Prasanna Amerasekera,, high jumper Manjula Kumara and Triple jumper Sampath none of the other athletes in the contingent have achieved the minimum standard for participation at the Asian Games. Out of this only Manjula Kumara is within an outside chance of making it to a bronze medal at the games. At the SAF games he did a 2.18m and if he could improve it up to 2.25m he will be within a chance for a Bronze.

“For instance take the case of Susanthika’s. Now she was in hospital after contacting Chikungunya and in no time she was back at training. However as far as I know it takes at least two weeks to revive from the direct effects from that ailment and some more time to go in for serious training, but, nevertheless she is supposed to be fit and has taken flight to the Asian Games. But, she in her present condition and the opposition that she would have to compete against, it is very unlikely that she would be a medal contender. At the same time I would not be surprised if she would pull out of her event at the last moment showing some ailment as she has done before. I honestly feel that she should have not made the trip at all. At least that would have preserved her image back in Sri Lanka. Even for Rohan Pradeep and Prasanna Amerasekera winning a medal will be an uphill task, but, my fervent hope is that I am proved wrong by these athletes. Then I mused aloud as to how this contingent made their way to the Asian Games in such a big count if Sri Lanka was not seemingly within the reach of a medal. The answer was very intriguing. “Can you recall that there was a promise by the authorities that there will be various cash rewards for medal winners at the SAG. Now it is three months since the SAG is over and not a cent has come their way in cash and I suspect that they are not going to get it. So, if you can not give it in cash, give it in kind. This is the best chance for the NOC to reciprocate. Now they have had the chance to please the medal winning athletes on some other people’s account, they have taken it with both hands. Now every medal winner at the SAG are in the Asian Games contingent and the athletes are happy. If they have no cash at least they have a trip on the house.

“At the same time there is this Sports Ministry official who is now on an extension after his retirement. He is hell bent on making the trips while the time is on. He has taken his chance and invited a host of people which includes people who are not connected to athletics at all, but, provisions were made and these people are on board for the Asian Games. “Now coming back to my musings I go back to the beginning of this piece. In all its glory evil prevails in this present society at this time if God just decides to get rid of all evil people it will be very difficult for him to find even human beings like Noah and his family.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.