Sri Lanka will field a record number of 60 female athletes for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham, England.
This is the first time that Women competitors have overtaken the Men in the number of participations in a major sporting event in Sri Lankan sports history.
“This is the first time that we have more medals offered to Women competitors than Men,” President, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) Suresh Subramaniam revealed during a media conference in Colombo yesterday.
The Sri Lankan Women’s contingent will be spearheaded by the T20 Cricket Team and the Seven-A-Side Rugby Team in addition to female coaches, trainers, physios, managers, and Lady Chaperon.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Men’s contingent will include 54 athletes and they will compete in a total of 15 sports disciplines.
In addition, the Sri Lankan contingent will include a total of 35 officials and 16 support staff members, which includes three medical doctors, one security official from Sri Lanka Army and two media admin staff members.
Chef-de-Mission of the Sri Lankan contingent Major General Dampath Fernando said that unlike the Olympic Games, the athletes will not be housed in one athletic village, but they will be distributed over five different Games’ Villages within the boundaries of Birmingham.
Fernando also said that some of the Sri Lankan sportsmen and women are currently training overseas and they are set to join the main contingent ahead of the opening ceremony.
In fact, gymnast Milka Gehani is in Japan, judoka Chamara Dharmaratne is in Slovenia, diver Dulanjana Fernando is in Australia, sprinter Yupun Abeykoon is in Italy while some of the top wrestlers are now training in Hungary.
However, Fernando believed that the Sri Lankan weightlifters are in with a better chance of winning more medals considering their track record in the Commonwealth Games history.
The first batch of Sri Lankan athletes are scheduled to leave for Birmingham on July 25.