Sri Lanka to host 2017 Asian Youth Games
Visiting Olympic Committee of Asia (OCA) President Prince Sheikh
Ahmad al-Sabah said Sri Lanka’s emerging commercial hub Hambantota has
been chosen to host the third Asian Youth Games in 2017. He made the
announcement at a press briefing at the Sri Lanka National Olympic
Committee Auditorium last evening.
This will be the biggest event to be hosted by Sri Lanka. The 2017
Asian Youth Games, the junior version of the Asian Games, will have the
participation of over 5,000 sportsmen and women vying for honors in 12
sports disciplines and representing 45 countries. An event of this
magnitude is expected to boost Sri Lanka's image with its worldwide
The bidding process was an immense success due to the commitments of
sports loving President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Steering Committee chairman
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Deputy Chairman
Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, SLNOC President Hemasiri Fernando and
Sri Lanka Tourism Director General Vipula Gunasekara.
Steering Committee deputy chairman - Parliamentarian Namal
Rajapaksa, Chairman of the steering committee - Sports
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Olympic Committee of Asia
President Prince Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah, SLNOC President
Hemasiri Fernando and Sri Lanka Tourism Director General
Vipula Gunasekara at the press briefing yesterday. Picture
by Ranjith Asanka.
The OCA President was positive of Sri Lanka's ability to host the
games. “The whole world was aware about Sri Lanka’s conflict. I’m
surprised to see the facility, stability and security today. Now you
need leadership in sports,” he said.
“The weather is excellent for athletes. If Sri Lanka agrees, we are
ready to offer the next Asian Beach Games to your country,” added the
Sri Lanka's proposal to host the Games was presented to the OCA
President in Kuwait on June 04, 2012. Thailand, Qatar, Uzbekistan,
Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates bid to host the 2017 Asian Youth
Games but Sri Lanka was selected as the host.
A new sports city to be built in Hambantota, will be the venue for
the globe’s third biggest youth sports extravaganza.
Last year, Hambantota’s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games
received global recognition because of its unique concept and the
government’s massive development plan for the region after the end of
the three decade war.
The inaugural version of the Asian Youth Games was held in Singapore
in 2009 where Sri Lanka fielded 30 sportsmen and women, finishing 16th
out of 44 countries with a silver and two bronze medals.
The next Asian Games will be held in Nanjing, China from August 16 to
24 next year.
Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Parliamentarian Namal
Rajapaksa, Sports Director General Ranjani Jayakody, Sports Ministry
Secretary Udaya Senevirathne, SLNOC President Hemasiri Fernando, Sri
Lanka Tourism Director General Vipula Gunasekara and an OCA delegation
was also present