Delay in conducting Junior Nationals puts SL participation  in Asian Junior Athletic Championship in doubt



by Reemus Fernando


The delay in conducting the Junior National Athletics Championships has made country’s participation in the forthcoming Asian Junior Championship somewhat doubtful as the local event now commences on the closing date for entries for the major Asian Championship.


The Junior National Championship will be a selection ground to pick country’s team for the forthcoming Asian Junior Athletics Championships which will be held from June 02 in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.


The four-day Junior National Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Athletics Association will commence on May 12 and the entries for the Asian Junior Championships close on the same day.


When inquired, Sunimal Rupasinghe, the secretary of the SLAA said that the Athletic Association had requested from the organisers of the Asian event to extend the closing dates.


"We have emailed to organisers requesting for a possible extension of the closing date to May 16. We are yet to receive a reply but are hopeful of a positive one," said Rupasinghe in reply to a query by The Island.


He said that the unavailability of grounds was the reason behind the late scheduling of the Junior National Championships.


Even if the SLAA receives an extension it will have to work fast to complete selections on the final day of the Junior Nationals and obtain the Sports Ministry approval for it to submit entries on May 16.


It is the first major championship conducted by the SLAA this year.


Sri Lanka has received a quota for a 15 member team but can extend the team up to some 30 members if the local authority is capable of funding the additional number.


SLAA ran into trouble recently when the National Olympic Committee refused entries sent by them for an Asian Schools event. Instead the NOC accepted the entries sent by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association.


Busy month for young track and field athletes


Country’s young athletes will have a busy schedule in May with at least two national level competitions and a number of zonal athletic championships taking place within that month.


Many a zonal athletics competitions conducted by the zonal education authorities will be held from late April to mid May.


The Junior National Athletics Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Athletics Association has been scheduled from May 12 to 15.


The Junior Nationals will be followed by the All Island Schools Relay Championship conducted by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Schools Athletics Association. It will be held at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium from May 24-26.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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