Sri Lanka volleyball takes centre stage | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka volleyball takes centre stage

President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation and Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya signs a replica of a huge volleyball before it set out on an island-wide run to herald the championship
President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation and Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya signs a replica of a huge volleyball before it set out on an island-wide run to herald the championship

The first ever Asian Volleyball Championship to be held in Sri Lanka for the Asian Challenge Cup 2018 is to commence on Saturday September 15 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium where President Maithripala Sirisena will ceremonially declare open the event.

The Championship will be contested by eight countries and the winners and the runners-up from this tournament will be promoted to participate in the forthcoming Asian Championship.

The Asian Challenge Cup championship is a fore-runner to give an opportunity to lower ranked countries to enter the Asian rankings by competing along with the highly placed countries.

The eight teams participating in the Asia Challenge Cup are Bangladesh, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and hosts Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh play Iraq at 9.30 a.m. and UAE take on Mongolia at 11.30 a.m. on the opening day.

After the completion of the Asia Challenge Cup they will move to the Asian Cup Championship, while two low ranked teams in the Asian Championship are to be demoted to play in the Asia Challenge Cup and gain entry to the Asian Rank.

At present, Sri Lanka is placed 14th in the Asian rankings and 39th in the world. A win or runner-up position at this tournament will give the Sri Lankan spikers the chance to move to the top eight in the Asian region which will also help them to play in the next Asian Championship.

The Championship is generously sponsored by Dialog Axiata PLC who have also designed an attractive Trophy to be awarded to the winner after the final.

At present the Volleyball Federation of Sri Lanka is aiming to promote the game among Sri Lankans and educating them on the Asian Challenge Cup to be held in Sri Lanka. They will also give an opportunity to the general public to have closer look of the Cup.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 3.00 p.m. and soon after that Sri Lanka is billed to confront Hong Kong at 4.30 p.m. and Malaysia will take on Saudi Arabia at 6.30 p.m.

Last week the president of the Volleyball Federation of Sri Lanka (VFSL) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya launched the countdown when he signed a huge replica of a volleyball on an island-wide awareness tour.

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