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Sri Lanka's WBC team leaves for Tokyo today

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Four member Sri Lanka Badminton team is scheduled to leave today (18) for the World Badminton Championship (WBC) held from August 22 to 28 in Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Sri Lankan most experienced shuttler Niluka Karunaratne who took part at Olympics three in a row once again will compete for the men’s single event at the Word Championship while doubles pair Buwaneka Gunathileka and Sachin Dias for the first time will take part at the World Championship. In addition National women’s Champion Thilini Hendahewa got last moment chance to play mixed double with Sachin Dias but Thilini Hendahewa still has a visa issue to join the tour party.

The senior Vice President of the Sri Lanka Badminton (SLB ) Palitha Hettiarachchi who is the chairman of the coaching and National pool development of SLB said Niluka Karunaratne the experienced campaigner of the team is ready to take part this event while number one doubles pair Buwaneka and Sachin are expected to take part at the men’s doubles event in this Tokyo games.

In fact all three shuttlers Niluka, Sachin and Buwaneka came back from Bermingham Commonwealth Games will join this tour while Thilini Hendahewa is the latest addition to the team after came from Bermingham.

Thilini Hendahewa got chance to play mixed doubles last moment as some teams pairs were withdrawn their names while Thilini Hendahewa has an issue to get visa on time. Actually World Badminton Federation (WBF) has to issue official letter for the Japan visa but so far it has not received from the BWF. Normally WBF has to issue visa letter through Japan foreign Ministry and so far (yesterday) we tried to get that letter but it has not received for the visa matter. The event is commencing from 22. The Sport Minister, Secretary Dr Amal Harsha de Silva have tried to get this visa letter but that was not successful. If we will get visa letter from Japan foreign Ministry we can do other matters to obtain visa approval said SLB vice President Palitha Hettiarachchi. The sports Ministry and the SLB jointly give their support to get facilities for the tour party and waiting to get Hendahewa’s Visa.

Both Sachin and Buwaneka have won at recent international tournament and this event also has big exposure for the local players. Sachin and Buwaneka were really performed well at the Commonwealth Games but finally not enough to take a medal.Their approach to the doubles event was highly successful and hopefully another doubles achievement will expect at this world event. Both Sachin and Buwaneka reached the semi finals but they had to be satisfied with a certificate at this tournament.

Niluka is undoubtedly the best shuttler produced by Sri Lanka. He took part at this last London, Rio and Tokyo Olympics in a row. He got several opportunities to improve the world ranking. Actually world championship is high ranking tournament and ranking points are very much needed, said Palitha Hettiarachchi.

Thursday, August 18, 2022 – 01:00

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