By Susil Premalal
The13th South Asian Games (SAG) is the premier sporting event for Sri Lankan sportsmen and women. The games are set to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal but the dates are still to be finalised.
The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) and the Ministry of Sports have requested that all sports associations conduct pool selections in order to prepare for the event. This was stated by Suresh Subramanium, President, NOCSL, to the Daily Mirror today (02).
27 sports are scheduled to be held at the South Asian Games namely, Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Hockey, Football, Golf, Handball, Judo, Kabadi, Karate, Kho-kho, Rowing, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Wushu.
The NOC organisers in Kathmandu and the Government had initially planned to hold the games from March 9 - 18, 2019, but their main pavilion had been damaged about four months ago. NOC officials of the South Asian Region had pointed out this set back and had postponed the event indefinitely.
Maxwell De Silva, Secretary General and Suresh Subramanium had visited Kathmandu to overlook the damaged pavilion and stated that construction is currently underway to restore it.
“I think the pavilion cannot be constructed even in September-October,” stated Subramanium. In future a meeting is scheduled to be held with the Kathmandu NOC where, most probably, a final decision will be arrived at.
The Sri Lanka contingent should be prepared for the event and some pool practices have commenced, while pool selections in some sports are currently being held. By February all pool practices should be complete.
The last South Asian Games took place in Guwahati, India from February 5 - 16,2016 where Sri Lanka sent a contingent of 484 athletes and were able to win 186 medals (25 Gold, 63 Silver and 98 Bronze).
Sri Lanka won 39 medals in swimming (12 Gold, 16 Silver and 11 Bronze) and bagged 37 medals in athletics (9 Gold, 11 Silver and 17 Bronze).
In the history of the South Asian Games Sri Lanka has never won the highest amount of medals. India had been dominating the championships, but in the 1991 Colombo Edition, Sri Lanka displayed good performances and won the Athletics Championships, defeating India.Sri Lanka also won Gold in women’s volleyball, defeating India.