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Medal Hunt: Story Remains The Same

Dec 18, 2010 2:21:46 PM - thesundayleader.lk
  • Second Asian Beach Games 2010

By Hishan Welmilla – in Oman courtesy NOC/Ministry of Sports

The story of the Sri Lankan contingent to the second Asian Beach Games is the same as the Sri Lankan contingent to the Asian Games 2010 – ‘Retuning home empty handed.’ Sri Lanka fielded a 35-member contingent for the Asian Beach Games held in Muscat, Oman from December 8-16. Lankans were seen in action in Men’s and Women’s Marathon Swimming (5km/10km), Men’s Beach Kabadi, Men’s Sailing and Men’s Beach Volleyball.
Besides the team events, none of the Sri Lankan sportsmen or sportswomen were able to come up with a noteworthy performance.
The Lankan beach volleyball team comprising Mahesh Perera and Wasantha Rathnapala gave Sri Lanka something to  cheer  about throughout the eight day long competition as they were able to qualify to play in the quarterfinals. They fought hard and were able to beat Chinese Taipei and Palestine, but lost to Oman in the group games. In the pre-quarter finals, Mahesh and Wasantha got rid of Japan to enter the quarter finals but their march was stopped by China.
Apart from that M. L. Asanka and Sampath Peiris were able to reach the final 16 of the Men’s Beach Volleyball competition. They beat Timor, Maldives and lost to Japan in the group games to qualify to the round of 16. But their loss to Oman prevented them from going further. Sri Lankan Men’s Kabadi team secured wins against Indonesia and Afghanistan, while losing to Iran and Pakistan.
Sri Lanka missed a golden opportunity at winning the first ever medal at the Asian Beach Games as they failed to field a Female Kabadi team. According to the Chief de Mission, Priyantha Jayakody, a female team could not make it to the event due to financial issues. The Kabadi Federation has turned a blind eye to the players and the team could not find the money for the air passage. Priyantha Jayakody withdrew the Sri Lankan female team at the last minute and saved them from receiving a four-year international ban. Since only three other teams were to participate in the event with Sri Lanka, our ladies had a golden opportunity to secure a medal. The interim committee for Kabadi in Sri Lanka should be held responsible for this pathetic situation.
Sri Lanka had no major achievement in aquatic events. Nishantha Roshil and Janaka Krishantha made no progress in Men’s Sailing. Tharanga Weerakkody, and Pasindu Gamage represented Sri Lanka in Men’s 5km Marathon Swimming; W. Kaveesha and K. Rasangi took part in the Women’s Event and did not perform well.
Shehan Rupasinghe and Kanisha Fernando took part in the Men’s 10km Marathon Swimming, while Methma Jayawardena and Sunethra Wijerathna took part in the Women’s category. Their performances were poor.
The third Asian Beach Games are to be held in Haiyang, Shandong Province, China in June 2011. It is the first time China will host the Asian Beach Games.
The Asian Beach Games, together with the Asian Games, Asian Winter Games, Asian Indoor Games and Asian Youth Games, are regarded as the top five multi-sport events in Asia.