By Susil Premalal
A contingent of 605 athletes will take part in the South Asian Games (SAG), scheduled to take place from December 1 to 10. The total number of officials for the event has not been finalised as yet which could be around 200 to 250.
Sri Lankan athletes will take part in (27) sports which include Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket (T20), Cycling, Golf, Handball, Judo, Karate, Kabadi, Weightlifting, Pentathlon, Football, Rifle Shooting, Swimming, Squash, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Wrestling, Wushu, Fencing and Kho-kho.
A total of 1076 athletes are currently in training, with the pool to be culled to 800 by September 15. The final team selections will take place in mid-October.
The Ministry of Sports has targeted a total of 235 medals at the SAG and which an expectation of 35 Gold, 75 Silver and 125 Bronze. The last edition (2016) of the SAG took place in India where Sri Lanka won 186 medals - 25 Gold, 68 Silver and 98 Bronze. The Ministry of Sports has invested Rs. 16,773,000 in training equipment for preparation for these games. In addition a sum of Rs. 330 million has been allocated to cover the cost for air-tickets, accommodation, sports gear and other expenses for the SAG.