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Sri Lanka to compete under OCA Flag at Asian Games

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Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) were handed a lifeline when they were selected to compete under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Flag at the 19th Asian Games Men’s Seven-A-Side Rugby Tournament next month in Hangzhou, China.

Due to the suspension of SLR by World Rugby (WR), the Sri Lanka Men’s team were not able to compete at the Asian Games and they were omitted from the initial draw, which was held recently.

However, considering this, the Asia Rugby (AR) Executive Committee made a thoughtful decision to allow the Sri Lankan ruggerites to compete under the OCA flag.

Numerous meetings and discussions were held between AR, the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs to ensure that Sri Lanka will be able to participate in this event.

The 19th Asian Games Rugby Sevens event will take place on September 24 and 26 at the Normal University Cangqian Athletics Field in Hangzhou.

According to the new draw held by AR, the Sri Lanka Tuskers will now compete in Pool ‘B’ along with the Chinese Taipe and South Korea.

Meanwhile, Pool ‘A’ will include Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia while Pool ‘C’ will have Japan, Singapore and Thailand while Pool ‘D’ will comprise the UAE, China, Afghanistan and Nepal.

The Sri Lanka Team will wear the OCA’s colours, which are white, yellow, and orange and they will participate in the opening ceremony under the OCA banner and will not be part of any NOC contingent.

In addition, if the OCA Rugby Sevens Team secures a medal at the Asian Games, the OCA anthem will be played during the medal presentation.

Meanwhile, Kandy Sports Club dynamic fly half and ace place-kicker Tharinda Ratwatte will captain the Sri Lanka Sevens Rugby Team at the Asian Games.

Ratwatte was a key player in Kandy SC’s success in the 2022/23 Nippon Paint Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament, where he contributed a total of 104 points inclusive of five tries, 23 conversions and 11 penalties.

He also made a fine impact at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Sevens Rugby Tournament in Birmingham, England by running down four tries including a memorable solitary try against New Zealand at the Coventry Stadium.

The post Sri Lanka to compete under OCA Flag at Asian Games appeared first on DailyNews.

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