Gold Coast Games: Lanka's medal hopes hinge on 11 weightlifters

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By S.R. Pathi­ravithana

Weightlift­ing would be one of the main medal hopes at the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games and a con­tin­gent of eleven lifters who have qual­i­fied would be there the Gold Coast, Down Un­der. The Games are sched­uled to be held from April 5 to 21.

Ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Maxwell de Silva, the weightlifters are among the medal hope­fuls at this year’s games. He told the Sun­day Times “The weightlifters have al­ready qual­i­fied and a con­tin­gent of eleven lifters – seven men and four women -- will be tak­ing part and I feel they are the big­gest hope­fuls for any medals at these games as be­fore.”

Es­pe­cially Chinthana Vi­dan­age who won a Gold and a Sil­ver re­spec­tively at the 2006 Mel­bourne Games and 2010 New Delhi Games. At the Mel­bourne Games Vi­dan­age com­peted in the 62kgs cat­e­gory while at the New Delhi Games he moved to 69kgs. Mean­while, Sudesh Peiris who com­petes in the 62kgs cat­e­gory won a Sil­ver at the Glas­gow Games in 2014 and Bronze at the New Delhi Games.

The other cer­tain­ties at the games are Rugby and Beach Vol­ley­ball which have al­ready re­ceived the green light from the or­gan­is­ers, ac­cord­ing to de Silva.

A cloud is still hang­ing over the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the bad­minton team. This is be­cause, as high­lighted by the Sun­day Times last week, the lo­cal bad­minton body re­mains sus­pended by the Bad­minton World Fed­er­a­tion from mid Oc­to­ber for vi­o­lat­ing in­ter­na­tional rules and reg­u­la­tions. The lo­cal body has been given time till De­cem­ber 31, to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion.

But, it is a sorry state of af­fairs with gym­nas­tics. It is said that Aruna Prasad, pres­i­dent of the Gym­nas­tics As­so­ci­a­tion, had not up­dated the regis- Sil­ver Sil­ver Bronze Bronze Bronze Chinthana Vi­dan­age Sudesh Peiris Alex Obey­sekere Su­gath Thi­lakaratne Sudesh Peiris tra­tion with the Com­mon­wealth Games au­thor­i­ties be­fore the cut­off date and they have been struck off the list of par­tic­i­pants. It is also learned that one of Prasad’s sib­lings was also a hope­ful in the same sport and is also among those struck out. Now it is said that Prasad is con­tem­plat­ing re­sign­ing from his post over that faux pas.

How­ever, the NOCSL Sec­re­tary Gen­eral added, “Though cer­tain dis­ci­plines have al­ready reg­is­tered with the au­thor­i­ties, this time we are go­ing to be very tough 2010 Delhi 2014 Glas­gow 1950 Auck­land 1998 Kuala Lumpur 2010 Delhi Weightlift­ing Men's 62 kg Box­ing Wel­ter­weight Ath­let­ics Men's 400 m Weight Lift­ing Men’s 62 kg about the list of par­tic­i­pants and only those who have been give the nod by the na­tional se­lec­tion com­mit­tee would be per­mit­ted to make the trip to Aus­tralia."

Com­ment­ing on the NOCSL AGM poser, de Silva told the Sun­day Times, “We will def­i­nitely have the Spe­cial Gen­eral Meet­ing on Jan­uary 4, 2018. Be­sides that, the NOCSL Pres­i­dent He­masiri Fer­nando is af­fir­ma­tive that the AGM will be held early Fe­bru­ary and the au­dited ac­counts state­ment will be made avail­able prior to that date”.

Chinthana Vi­dan­age

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