|Sunday, 16 February 2003|
Three Lankan swimmers for World Championships
by LESLIE FERNANDO
Three swimmers will represent Sri Lanka at the 10th FINA World Championships to be held in Barcelona, Spain in June this year.
Earlier the number of tickets was given as five, but, officials of NAASU said that the correct figure should be four with one ticket being reserved for an official.
Two boys - breast stroker Conrad Francis of St. Joseph's Swimming Club and a back stroker Asela Pradeep of SSC, while there is a solitary girl - Menaka de Silva of St. Bridget's Convent. With a girl in the team, the official will have to be a lady.
According to NAASU media spokesman Vijitha Fernando, FINA has specifically instructed the local body that the tickets must be used for three swimmers and one official.
The official concerned has not been picked as yet, but official sources of NAASU said that the lady official will be picked soon. The names of the swimmers and official will then be submitted to the National Sports Council and the Sports Ministry for approval.
Lankan squad selected
According to Brig. B. Munasinghe, Chairman NAASU selection committee, the selectors who met last week finalised the selection of swimmers for the SAF Games to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan from March 26 to April 7.
The swimmers were selected on their performances at the four-day trial held last month. The names have been submitted to Sports Ministry/NOC and once the approval is obtained the squad will be released to NAASU Executive Committee.
Novices meet Feb. 20-22
A record number of over 1,300 swimmers both boys and girls will be seen in action at the Novices Swimming and Diving Championships to be held from February 20 to 22 at the Sugathadasa Stadium Swimming Pool.
'Two-mile' March 2
Arrangements have been finalised to hold the 66th Open Annual two-mile sea swim of Mount Lavinia on Sunday, March 2, commencing at 8.30 a.m. at Mount Lavinia Beach. The 9th Juvenile two-mile sea swim will also be held alongside the main event.
Only member clubs of NAASU will be eligible to send swimmers for the open championships and swimmers under-12 and under-14 will participate in the juvenile championships.
The event is sponsored by Bank of Ceylon (Principal sponsor) and Master Divers and Mount Lavinia. Ajith Weerakkody of Sri Lanka Navy won the men's race for the fifth year in succession last year and he will certainly go flat out to set a record and win the event for the sixth time in-a-row this year. Imara Fahim of Otter AC and Uma Kavya Dharmadasa of Musaeus College were declared joint winners in the women's race last year.
Entries will close on February 20 at NAASU Administrative Office, 74, Reid Avenue, Colombo 7 (Tel: 682078).
Asian Age Group Meet - August
Chinese Taipei will host the Asian Age Group Swimming and Diving Championships in August this year. The country was selected by the Asian Swimming Federation (ASF).
Three countries - Chinese Taipei, Qatar and Indonesia bid to stage the meet and ASF decided on Chinese Taipei. This will be the third time that Chinese Taipei will be hosting the meet.
Qatar will host the meet in 2004 and Indonesia in 2005. Last year's meet as held in Maccau. NAASU will send a contingent of swimmers and divers.
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