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Lanka won’t host next SAG without Pakistan’s mission – NOC president

(UTV|COLOMBO) – The president of National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Suresh Subramanian said they will not accept to host the next edition of the South Asian Games without permission from Pakistan.

“We are just seven nations and it is Pakistan’s turn to host the next SAG but due to some issues with the country’s situation, the majority of member nations are planning to request us to host it. But without Pakistan’s permission we won’t accept it,” said Subramaniam.

“Compared to previous edition of the SAG, our athletes did an immense job especially the track and field team. I believe hard work plays a major role than talent and our track and field team’s hard work has paid off winning the most number of gold medals,” he said.

Subramaniam said the Ministry of Sports and NOCSL are the main stakeholders of Sri Lankan sports and for the betterment of it should worked together as a team.

“We’ve had discussions with various international sport bodies on how they can help our athletes to reach the next level. For instance, we’ll send our athletes from selected sports, for training abroad. I’ve already had discussions with them,” said Subramaniam.

“We must do something to lift our standards. We are not in competition with the Athletics Association or the Sports Ministry. We have not won an Olympic medal for two decades. My main ambition is to bring an Olympic medal for Sri Lanka. I’m determined to do it before I leave,” he said.

“We have been working without proper grants but with support of my friends and well-wishers, we are heading towards our vision. Only a few sports association has office space to conduct their work. I have submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Sports for a building complex which includes office space for sports federations. We have sponsors to build the sports complex and if the government permits us, we can start the project as a joint venture with the Ministry Sports.

“My only concern about the athletes is to uplift their standards and as NOCSL we are keen on the development of athletes’ high-performance. The Ministry of Sports should support the infrastructure,” he said.

“There is only one year left for the Tokyo Olympics and nobody has qualified. We need longtime plan to target big Games.” (DN)


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