By Susil Premalal
The Wrestling Federation of Sri Lanka (WFSL) is hoping to obtain the services of four top coaches from Iran to train the National Wrestling Squad in their preparation for the South Asian Games (SAG) which will be staged in Kathmandu, Nepal in December.
Of these four coaches, one will be a consultant coach while the other three would function as fitness trainers.
All four coaches are expected to arrive in the island in June or July.
These coaches will be on a four-month contract basis but will continue to remain until the SAG, according to Chaminda Kumara Mallawarachchi, Secretary of the WFSL. Mallawarachchi also said that a National Pool of 45 wrestlers have been selected in preparation for the SAG.
The National Pool includes 26 Men and 19 Women who have already started training for the SAG at the Sports Ministry Indoor Stadium in Torrington.
The National Pool was selected after the completion of the Wrestling National Championships held in December 2018.
M. K. Piyaratne is currently in charge of this National Pool and he is assisted by two other trainers.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Men and Women wrestlers are hoping to compete in 10 weight categories at the SAG.
"Our target is to win 11 medals, including one Gold Medal at the SAG. At the 2016 Games held in India, we won a total of 12 medals, including five Silver and seven Bronze Medals.”
“Our main challenge for medals will come from India and Pakistan," said Mallawarachchi.
Sri Lanka has been participating in the wrestling event since the inaugural SAG in 1984. In the history of SAG, the biggest medal haul for Sri Lanka came at the last event held in India.
"The final touring squad for the Games will be selected after the Asian Wrestling Championships to be held in April," he added.
Over 650 wrestlers are currently registered with the Federation, including 450 Men and 200 Women.
Most of the wrestlers represent the armed forces and the police.
In addition, Young Shadows Wrestling Club from Ja-Ela have also come into the forefront in the recent past.