The 29th National Youth Sports Festival marked its opening ceremony yesterday at Anuradhapura and events began today with 18 athletics finals on the card. The athletics schedule will began with the 10,000m final at 8.00 a.m. and will go on until 4.30 p.m.
The day will also see Men’s and Women’s Netball finals at the indoor stadium. Men’s football finals is set to start at 4.30 p.m. and expected to be a crowd puller.
The Championship will see more than 3,000 athletes competing for glory representing each District under two age categories, under 20 and over 20. Most outstanding male and female athletes of the under 20 and over 20 age categories will walk away with new motorbikes. Any athlete who sets a new meet record will receive an award of Rs. 10,000, while a new SL record will fetch Rs 50,000.
Last year’s overall under 20 champion athletes, triple jumper Hashini Prabodha, high jumper Ushan Thiwanka and sprinter Chamil Lakshitha Kumara lit the Youth Festival lamp during yesterday’s opening ceremony which was graced by State Minister of National Policies & Economic Affairs, Niroshan Perera.
International medalists in the likes of Asian Championship silver medalist Rumeshika Rathnayake is set to compete in today’s 200m final, where she will be eying the meet record of 24.65 seconds set by Chandrika Subashini. Triple jump National record holder, Vidusha Lakshani who emerged as best female athlete at the National Sports Festival, will eye the same award here too as her final also is set to be held today.
The finals include 200m and 800m track events, while the 4X100m over 20 too might be worked off as a final. Apart from that there are several field events on the card.