Lanka in final lap goes for C’wealth gold

A 100-strong Sri Lankan team, in a final push to win the 2018 Commonwealth Games host status, left last night for the Caribbean island of St. Kitts where the Games officials will announce their decision on Saturday.

The bid team which will hold talks with Games officials include Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Namal Rajapaksa the parliamentarian from Hambantota, the city that seeks to host the Games, former cricketer Aravinda de Silva, world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan, former sprinter Sriyani Kulawansa and several business leaders.

Also in the team are several artistes who will stage cultural shows as part of Sri Lanka’s attempt to outsmart Australia’s Gold Coast, the only other bidder, in what is expected to be a nail-biting finish.

A Sports Ministry official said last night Sri Lanka was optimistic that it would win the turn to host the Games. Gold Coast also is sending a team to St. Kitts for talks with Games officials.

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