Bungling SLR deprives Women Tuskers of possible Asian Games medal | Page 2 | Daily News

Bungling SLR deprives Women Tuskers of possible Asian Games medal

The Sri Lanka Women’s sevens Rugby team lost a possible Bronze medal by not participating at the 18th Asian Games rugby sevens held from August 30-September 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to reliable sources, the rugby administrators were unable to convince the Sports Ministry and the NOC when initial discussions took place for selections of teams and individual events.

Sources further revealed that no representative of the Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) attended the deciding meeting that may have otherwise had the opportunity for the women’s rugby team to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, it seemed that in a bid to absolve itself from the blunder and the chaotic situation, the SLR kept on stating that they are hoping to send the team but it never materialized.

What was really baffling was the comment made to the media by one of the top ranked SLR officials, where he said: “When it comes to such high profile tournaments, the Ministry of Sports is funding only the teams which have clear opportunity to secure a medal.” Such a statement, it appears gives the impression that SLR was under-prepared.

The Women’s Tuskers did reasonably well in the Asian 7’s circuit in 2017 just a few months prior to the Asian Games under the watchful eyes of Sudath Sampath (Head Coach), Inthie Marikkar (Director, High Performance), and Dilan Zoysa (Trainer). Going by some of their performances of this tournament especially of Sri Lanka’s losing margins to Hong Kong (5-10) and Kazakstan (0-12); and the fact that Sri Lanka beat Thailand (24-12 to win the Plate championship) who incidentally lost the bronze medal to Kazakhstan at Asian Games speaks volumes of Sri Lanka’s bright chances. While Japan won the Gold, the Silver went to China. So the top four teams at the Asian Games finally stand as Japan, China, Kazakstan and Thailand. Where would Sri Lanka been placed had they participated?

It is indeed a very sad state of affairs why the SLR officials just could not do their home work to come out with a sound assessment. Surely, the authorities who are top administrators in their own rights (may not necessarily be well conversant in sports) would have possibly understood the prospect of a medal on a general analytical perspective. How on earth did the Sri Lanka hockey administrators able to convince the authorities to field a men’s team and got humiliated by India 20 goals to nil at the Asian Games. In that context, the SLR surely had all the rights to impress the authorities. Where did the think-tanks of SLR go wrong? The rugby fraternity’s only hope would be to see that SLR conducts its affairs more sensibly in the future.

Furthermore what’s really shocking was that 180 athletes and nearly 70 odd officials amounting to a total of approximately 250 people had participated at this year’s Asian Games representing Sri Lanka while depriving the prospect medalists, the women Tuskers. In the overall assessment, it was the 4 x 400 men’s relay team and Men’s 7’s rugby team did perform well to secure fourth place. We wish to reserve the comments on the performance of the men’s rugby team.


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