Re-elected Sri Lanka Olympic chief claims no more wild card entries | Sunday Observer

Re-elected Sri Lanka Olympic chief claims no more wild card entries

2 January, 2022
Suresh Subramaniam
Suresh Subramaniam

Re-elected head of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka, Suresh Subramanian, claimed that his honesty, integrity, transparency and efficiency were the ingredients that made up his character that gave him victory by a wide margin at the election of office bearers last Tuesday while at the same time said that he will ensure Sri Lanka will not field athletes on wild card entries at the 2024 Olympics.

Sri Lanka fielded an unprecedented nine athletes who were paid between Rs 2 to 3 million each before the Games kicked off and returned after a poor showing two weeks later.

This time Subramanian received 21 votes which were more than what he received the last time when he contested against Rohan Fernando.

His rival this time was retired Major General Palitha Fernando who trailed him by nine votes.

“We will continue supporting the athletes who are already under training to reach higher standards to match the levels that can be expected at international level.

These athletes are from different sports and we want to expand the numbers as there are many talented athletes around,’ said Subramanian.

“At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, some Sri Lankan athletes received wild card entries, but at the next Olympics in 2024 we want our athletes to qualify on merit.

“They must be sent for more international ranking meets and tournaments that will enhance their ranking points and help them qualify.

“Thereafter, we will continue with the training and nutrition programs of athletes that will help them aim for a medal at the 2028 Olympic Games. To achieve this, the athlete must feel comfortable and confident when competing in international competitions,” said Subramaniam as he boasted about his ambitious plans.

Under his leadership the NOC claims to show a profit of Rs. 19 million and has acquired ample funds in deposits.

According to Subramaniam all transactions have been transparent and will be used towards the development of sports.

Maxwell de Silva was also re-elected the Secretary once again by a wide margin of 13 votes.

He was first elected to office in 2009 when he defeated a dominant HU Silva who also held office for some time.

Subramaniam and De Silva are both from the tennis fraternity and have developed a bond of trust for each other that cannot be broken forever according to insiders.