Archers keen and eager to do well
Sri Lanka's young archers hope to win more medals in Archery, the
latest addition to the South Asian Games. Archery competition will be
held from August 23 to 26 at the Colombo Hockey and Football Ground at
Kesara Serasinghe, the National Coach of Sri Lanka Archery
Association, said that the sport has a history of over 50,000 years. But
Sri Lanka is relatively young in the sport with just four years under
its belt and is expecting to fight strong and hard at the South Asian
The Archery Association which was initially called the Archery
Development Association, was converted after its former president
Commander H. U. Silva started an archery school at the Sugathadasa
Stadium several years ago.
The first Archery Nationals were held in 2001 and there were several
coaches from abroad who helped our local coaches in training the
Serasinghe the first captain of the Sri Lanka Archery team who has
represented the country at several archery competitions, said that 25
archers were in training at the Sugathadasa Stadium and the final trial
was held in July and eight best archers 4 men and 4 women were selected.
These eight selectees had the opportunity of participating in India
and Bangladesh and they showed a good standard with their shooting with
arrows. The experience they gained in India and Bangladesh will see our
archers coming to the limelight at the South Asian Games.
The archers from Sri Lanka will have a chance of beating world class
archers from India and Nepal. Archery is the national sport of Nepal and
the former Indian archers have traditionally among the world top three
Archers from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka will
compete in both men and womens team events and individual event.
The Sri Lanka archers - Men: Rajeeva Wickremasinghe, Nimantha
Fernando Muditha Thotagamuwa, Manoja Kodikara.
Women: Sajeevi Silva, Dilhara Salgado, Shasikala Kumarasinghe, Dudili
Serasinghe added that an archer has to shoot 72 arrows at a 70 metre
distance. It will be similar to Olympic round. The archers stand
together and shoot on the target.
The Sri Lanka Archery Association has been assisted in a big way by
Korean Organisation (KOICA) who has donated equipment valued around RS.
4 million for the South Asian Games including timing equipment,
telescopes, bows and arrows, clothing.
Answering a question of the chances of Sri Lanka winning medals,
Serasinghe - the only level three qualified coach in Sri Lanka said that
with top class facilities for archers of India and Nepal it is not
surprising that these two countries are the main contenders for the
silver and gold positions at SAG.
"We will try for silver and give Nepal a run for their money quipped
Finally Serasinghe said that this sport should be popularised having
training establishments outside Colombo. Furthermore, we need more youth
to get involved. Proper training and funding is also necessary,
Serasinghe added for the sport to prosper.