Sri Lanka finished fourth with a total of 16 Gold, 35 Silver and 54 Bronze in the medals tally on completion of the 11th edition of the South Asian Games in Dhaka, Bangladesh yesterday.
The 12-day Games included 23 disciplines with Sri Lanka athletes grabbing eight Golds - swimmers collected three Golds, weightlifters two Golds and one Gold each in Karate, Cycling, Taekwondo - a total of 16 Gold Medals.
India with 90 Gold Medals reigned supreme becoming a superpower in the region and carrying away the top position in all 11 Games with the inaugural SAF Games in 1984.
They have continuously won the overall championships to-date. Compared to 2006 Colombo Games, Sri Lanka s performance here in Dhaka was rather weak. Sri Lanka was placed second with 37 Golds in the 2006 Games - a difference of 21 Gold Medals to 16 Golds won here. Sri Lanka dropped drastically to the fourth slot in the medals tally.
The authorities concerned, the Controlling Bodies of different disciplines, Sports Ministry, National Olympic Committee with the National Sports Council should seriously evaluate our 299-member contingent s performance and must take immediate steps to further develop the standard of sporting events if we are to achieve glory in our future international meets.
Proper planning is a must, pick the best and talented men and women players early without waiting until the last moment. Offer them the proper and correct training and guide them to the victory target.
Ajith Bandara, the 2006 Colombo Games Gold Medallist did not live up to expectations in the Marathon event held last morning by securing the Silver Medal.
The Marathon was from opposite Bangabandhu National Stadium and covered a distance of 37 kilometres less than the normal 42km Marathon decided by the organizers.
Nepal s Rajendra Bahadur Bhandari won the Gold while Ram Singhe of India the Bronze.
The timings were not recorded due to change of distance but the medals were presented.
The 16 Gold Medalists
Athletics - Chandrika Subashini (Women s 200 and 400 metres)
Relay - Jeevan Fernando, R. Warnakulasuriya, Hasaranga Ranasinghe, M. Weerasooriya (Men 4X100m). Premila, Dilrukshi, Achala Dias, Sujani (Women s 4X100m), Shehan Ambepitiya (Men s 100m), Chaminda Wijekoon (Men s 1,500m), Chamali Dilrukshi Priyadarshani (Women s Long Jump), Priyangika Maduwanthi (Women s High Jump).
Janaka Hemantha (170km Road Race Mass Start Cycling), J.C. Edward (Karate-Kata Individual), Mineka Karunaratne (Swimming 50m Breast Stroke and 100m Breast Stroke), Heshan Unamboowe (100m Back Stroke), Fathima Keshia (Under 57kg Taekwondo), Kamal Bandara (56kg Weightlifting) and Chinthana Vidanage (69kg Weightlifting). Sri Lanka Men s and Women s football teams failed to win a single Medal at the 11th South Asian Games Football Tournament.
Handball introduced for the first time saw Sri Lanka team going medaless.
Spectacular closing ceremony
Bangladesh President Mohamed Zillur Rahman was the Chief Guest as the 11th South Asian Games concluded with a spectacular closing ceremony at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Tuesday.
The two-and-half hour program provided Bangladesh s rich culture and heritage which gave the spectators a spell-bound experience.
The program began with a traditional Bangladesh dance.
There were performances in Azi Sristi Shukher Wllashe, Amara Shabai Raza, Dhono Dhanne Pushpa Vora in the song and dance program. In the closing stages of the ceremony there was the display of Games Logo as the Games Mascot - Magpie Robin (Does Bird) giving a farewell.
There were cultural programs of the eight participating countries - India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives as the Games culminated with an aquatic laser show and fireworks.
With India hosting the next edition of the Games, Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi who was at the venue took the Games Flag.
India will host the next edition of the South Asian Games in 2012 with the venue and dates yet to be decided.
India also hosted the 1987 Games in Kolkata and 1995 in Chennai.