Athletic Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) will stay more focused on maintaining correct technical standards and guidelines rather than on ceremonial aspects at the South Asian Junior Athletic Championships said President of AASL, Maj Gen (Rtd) Palitha Fernando.
Sri Lanka will host the SAJAC on 5 and 6 May at the Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo, Sri Lanka’s first international competition since 2013 when SL hosted the Asian Grand Prix –third leg.
“There will be nearly 200 athletes participating and six other countries, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives have confirmed their participation already,” said Fernando.
SAJAC will be hosting it as a low cost international event where athletes will be accommodated at the Sugathadasa Sports Hotel which is adjoining the Sugathadasa Complex. Doing so there will be no transport costs from and to the venue from the accommodation point. AASL will also not focus on any ceremonial events such as opening or closing ceremonies which are widely believed to be a waste of money in most of the sporting events.
“Even at the Asian Cross country championship, the opening ceremony was introduction of teams and taking players’ and judges’ oaths which is the way we are planning to host this championship so we can focus more on hosting technically correct championship for our athletes to compete,” said Fernando.
Sri Lanka last hosted the SAJAC in 2007 and the last edition of the championship was held in Ranchi, India in 2013.
As for the AASL, India, the biggest athletics power house of South Asia will be sending a strong team. They will consist of the winners of the Federation Cup and will also compete at the Asian Junior Athletic Championship to be held in Japan in June.
Sri Lanka’s selection for the SAJAC will be done at the Junior National Athletic championship.
As for AASL, apart from the under-20 events at the championship Under-18 performance will also be considered for selection of the junior team while separate relay trials, which will feature top sprinters of all age categories, will be held on 26th