Prior to leaving Tokyo here today, they met prospective officials to woo support for Sri Lanka to train its elite sportsmen and women, and also to obtain competition opportunities.
President of the NOCSL Suresh Subramaniam, former Sri Lanka Davis Cup player produced by Royal and his able Secretary General Maxwell de Silva were of the view that if these competition and training opportunities are properly used, Sri Lanka could produce an Olympic Medallist by 2028.
Only the late Duncan White in 1948 and Susanthika Jayasinghe in 2000 have two Silver Medals for Sri Lanka in the 125-year-old modern Olympic history and the NOCSL hopes to produce Sri Lanka’s third Olympic Medallist even 28 years after Sydney glory.
Sri Lanka Olympic Chief Subramaniam said they will give all facilities to Sri Lanka’s elite sportsmen and women who are showing potential of winning medals for the country in future. He said already, gymnastics, judo, swimming, diving, athletics and football will benefit.
He and the NOC Secretary General took time off their busy schedules to secure a number of opportunities for Sri Lankan sportsmen and women.
Both had a fruitful meeting with the Advanced Gymnastic Academy Coaches where Sri Lankan gymnast Milka Gehani has been training in Tokyo, Japan.
The NOC of Japan has agreed to extend the two-year scholarship Gehani enjoyed up to the 2020 Olympics until the 2024 Paris Games.
However, it will be on a performance evaluating basis, initially with two top competitions, including the World Gymnastics Championships next year.
Sri Lanka will not give automatic Olympic guarantee to anyone and all sportsmen and women will have to show their progress reports annually to continue their training.
Since intensive training is not a sole guarantee for Olympic qualification, the NOCSL will groom at least one other competitor apart from the main scholar in sport.
Accordingly, while Gehani continues free training in Japan, the NOCSL will have another gymnast training on their account at the same place.
In judo too, Sri Lanka will have one competitor on full scholarship while another will get similar training on payment.
But two Sri Lankan divers and two swimmers will be on all-found sports scholarships leading to the 2024 Olympic Games.
Another rich deal towards Sri Lanka has come from the President of the Paraguay NOC Camilo Pérez López Moreira.
He has assured that nine Sri Lankan footballers will be given an opportunity to play in the next South American League.
Moreira, who is also the President of the Olympic Council of South America, has maintained close links with Sri Lanka NOC top brass.