Asian Junior Athletic Championship as a state function
The 15th Asian Junior Athletic Championship scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from June 09 is to be conducted on grand scale as a state function said the Acting Minister of Information and Broadcasting Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene at a press briefing held at the information Ministry Auditorium.
The Minister of Sports stated that it is to be conducted as state function and all arrangements have been finalized to have cultural pageants for the opening and Closing ceremonies. President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa has been invited to be the chief guest at both ceremonies.
The briefing was attended by the Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Secretary to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting D. B. Ganegala the President of the Sri Lanka Athletic Association Major General Daya Ratnayake and the Secretary to the SLAA Rear Admiral Shyamal Fernando.
The Championship will see a participation of 44 countries requires. Rs. 65 million and the Ministry of Sports has already confirmed a sum of Rupees 20 million. Despite only 15 athletes have reached qualifying standards, Sri Lanka team will consist of more than 130 athletes since the host country is allowed to field three competitors for each individual event. All Indian participants for the championship have reached the required standard and the contingent will have 115 inclusive of officials. Japan has the next big and strong team consisting of 60 athletes.
Secretary to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting D. B. Ganegala said that the organizers are taking a keen interest to introduce local foods and also the most popular natural drink King Coconut ‘Thambili’ to the large number of foreigners expected arrive in the island for the event. This decision has been considered as it will the opportunity to promote our local foods and the special drink.
- By Namal Pathirage