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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 media coverage.

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 OCA President.

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

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