Bronze for Lankans in cycling

Namal Pathirage reporting from Dhaka

The Lankan athletes will be featured in eleven disciplines in this fourth day of the eleventh edition of the South Asian Federation Games which is being continued in Dhaka Bangladesh.

The games were declared opened by Bangladeshi President Sheikh Hasina on the 28th at a colourful ceremony at the Bangarabandu National Stadium.
Niluka Karunaratne in action at the SAF Games in Dhaka yesterday. Pic by Shantha Ratnayake

In this year’s Games it is very noticeable that athletes from Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan are provided with extra security with both the Bangladeshi Police and the Army providing security.

Sri Lanka won its first medal yesterday when the women’s cyclists team comprising Lasanthi Krishna, Niluka Shayamali, Noroshani Perera and Pushparani won the bronze medal. However for the Lankans who won the Gold medal at the last outing of the SAF Games this was a huge setback. The Indian girls’ won Gold in this event and was the first country to capture Gold at this eleventh edition.

Sri Lanka had a good outing with their soccer players as they beat Pakistan 1-0 at their meeting. They will meet India today. The Lankan lady footballers slipped to a huge 8-1 defeat at the hands of the Indian ladies.

In the badminton events which got off to a start yesterday Niluka Karunaratne won his first game and entered the second round. By yesterday most of the first round events were over.

This year’s events see 1,800 athletes representing eight countries taking part in 23 disciplines. The Sri Lankan contingent counts 299.

Reports reaching from Colombo say that with the Presidential elections being over a host of Sri Lankan guests are making a beeline for the Games in Dhaka. This includes a contingent of 25 officials from the Ministry of Sports.

However it is also stated with reports that Parliament is scheduled to be dissolved it is not clear whether Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge, who was scheduled to visit Dhaka on the 5th of February, would make it.
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