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A colourful ceremony opens AY games

Sri Lankan contingent of 30 athletes and 11 officials headed by Nishantha Piyasena marched at the first Asian Youth Games Opening ceremony what is said to be one of the most colourful opening ceremonies Singapore has ever hosted, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday evening.

The Sri Lankans looked very colourful with their newly designed outfit, with smiling faces marched along with over 1400 sports personalitiese from 45 Asian countries.

The Youth Games, which acts as a preview to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games which will be held next year, looked an excellent impression to the large crowd gathered.

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong was the chief guest at the openning ceremony which included a colourful Gymnastic display, cultural pageant and cheerful nusic presented by the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.

President of National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Hemasiri Fernando and President of Athletic Association of Sri Lanka were also present among the special invitees at the opening ceremony and were seen cheering the Lankan contingent

Earlier yesterday, the Sri Lankan team, along with Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Iraq were given a warm welcome at a special ceremony which was held at the Swiss Hotel which the main media Centre is located.

The Sri Lankan chef-de-mission Nishantha Piyasena represented the country at this occasion.

Today, five Sri Lankan athletes will be seen in action at the Bishan Stadium.

Heshan Amarasinghe will take part in the first round of the boys'100m, Nirmala Siriwardena in the girls' high jump, Akshana Maralanda in the girls' 100m and Dulaj Lahiru and Nadeeshani Henderson in the boys' and girls' 400m respectively.

Novel Influenza detected

The officials have taken steps in the best way to detect any outbreak of Novel Influenza coming in to the country and have taken measures to place thermo detectors at every sports venue and at every hotel that the teams reside.

So far there have been five H1N1 positive cases reported one athlete from Philippines and four from Hong Kong.

Chairman OCA Medical Committee and OCA Executive Board Member Doctor Mani Jegathesan stated that all the infected athletes were discharged after they were fully recovered.

"I am happy that there were 37 more suspicious cases reported but all of them have been discharged after quarantined and all of them were tested negative.

I don't think there is anything to fear but we have taken all necessary steps to prevent any threat" added Dr. Jegathesan.

Singapore, Monday


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