With 92 days to go for the start of the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on August 10, the Sri Lanka team is gradually taking shape. In this context the Sri Lanka youth volleyball team faces a stiff hurdle when they take part in the Asian Qualifying Tournament to be held in Iran from May 13 to 21. The team will have to do extremely well - come within the first three - in order to represent Sri Lanka at the Singapore YOG .
Sri Lanka has been classed in Group A along with Iran, China, South Korea and Australia. The teams in Group B are India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei and Thailand Asian Qualifier in Iran.The Sri Lanka team is coached by Charles Thilakaratne while former National skipper Sampath Abeysinghe is the trainer of this team.
|Nuwani Navodya of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda in training. She is the first ever Sri Lankan girls TT player to be selected for the YOG in
The members of the Sri Lanka Volleyball team for the Asian Qualifier are: Deepthi Rumesh, Sadun Madushanka, Sammi Amal, Manoj Jayasinghe, Dilanka Sampath, Hiranya Kesala, Sajeewa Lahiru, Madushanka Wickremasinghe, Wasantha Lakmal, Ushan Sandamal, Nisala Madushanka, Ashen Jeewantha, Isuru Promadya, Shehan Sachintha, Lakmal Priyadarshana and Namanja Madushanka.
The others ear-marked for the Singapore YOG from Sri Lanka are Table Tennis players Hasintha Sashiranga of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda, Nuwani Navodya also of Dharmasoka College Ambalangoda and long distance runner Indunil Herath of Wallala Central Menikhinna. Indunil Herath is a promising long distance runner having done well in the 800 meters. However he will have to compete in the 1000 meters at the YOG in Singapore.
All eyes will be on Indunil Herath when he takes part in the Sir John Tarbat Athletic Championships organized by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association of the Ministry of Education due to be held from May 24 to 26 at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo.Sri Lanka is also trying their utmost to have a badminton player, a judoka and a Taekwondo player for the event as well. The young judoka ear-marked for the event is Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardena and the Taekwondo player is Malithi Prematilleke.
Sri Lanka’s efforts to have a boxer at the YOG misfired badly when the island’s representative lost at a trial meet.Table Tennis player Nuwani Navodya is the first ever Sri Lankan girl’s player selected for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.Nuwani has been turning in some good performances at local and foreign meets. Currently she is ranked No 1 in the island.Nishantha Piyasena, who is the Chef De Mission of the Sri Lanka team, is now busy putting the final touches to the team.
Meanwhile Olympic pole-vaulting legend Yelena Isinbayeva has been appointed official Ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) by the International Olympic Committee.
She will be joining swimming superstar Michael Phelps who was announced ambassador in February, Isinbayeva will be supporting the YOG by encouraging the participation of young people in sport globally.
"I look forward to having a positive impact on young people and can't wait for the first Youth Olympic Games to get under way this August," she said.
"I will be in Singapore to support the athletes, to encourage them to do their best and enjoy the whole experience."
Isinbayeva won two Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008. The Russian pole vaulter was named Female Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2004, 2005 and 2008, World Sportswoman of the Year by Laureus in 2007 and 2009, and was conferred the Prince of Asturia Award for Sports in 2009.
Singapore Youth Olympic Games is about embracing, embodying and expressing the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect and having an active lifestyle.