The South Asian Junior and Youth Athletic Championship which was to be held on November 7th and 8th in India has been postponed leading it to a probable none event this year.
The Indian organizers have informed the local authorities that the event has been postponed indefinitely due to requests made by several participating countries.
However, Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando, the President of the Athletic Association said that the lack of interest from many South Asian countries had led to the current situation. "Lack of participation has nearly made it a contest between India and Sri Lanka," Fernando told ‘The Island’ yesterday.
"India had to postpone the event due to lack of interest from other South Asian countries," Fernando added.
Asked whether the security situation too would have been a contributing factor to the postponement, he said that the security situation had nothing to do with the postponement.
Initially, the Championship was to be held in September, but the Indian organizers postponed it to November citing that the set date was causing inconvenience to athletes from several Muslim countries of the region as it coincided with the Ramadan season.
Athletic officials from Pakistan, Maldives and Bangladesh had requested the Indian authorities to postpone the event to November.
With the schools examinations coming round the corner and Indian authorities not announcing a date for the championship, it is highly likely that the postponement would lead to cancellation of the event.
"We are concerned about the education of the children who were to take part in the championship and it would be unlikely that we could settle for a date coinciding school examinations," said Fernando, who was uncertain about the event being held this year.
The Junior South Asian Athletic Championship was inaugurated in Colombo last year with the participation of five countries from the region. India and Sri Lanka shared all gold medals of the championship.