26th November 2021 22:42:45 Hours
Curtains came down of the ‘57th Army Inter Regiment Athletic Championship 2020-2021’, the most-awaited inspiring event in the Army sports calendar which generates enormous enthusiasm among Army sports lovers this evening (26) at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, rekindling hopes for many more national and international wins in future.
Giving due recognition and inspiration to athletic skills of his troops, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army at the invitation of Major General Harendra Ranasingha, Chairman, Army Athletic Committee and Commander 1 Corps, graced the closing and awarding ceremony as the Chief Guest.
After a warm welcome of Major General Harendra Ranasingha, the day’s Chief Guest was conducted to the main dais to witness a few finals in the tournament.
A few more than 700 young and well-trained Army athletes, representing all Regimental Headquarters of the Army showcased their athletic prowess in this annual event, comprised of track and field events during this 3-day long Championship that began on Monday (22) at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo. Prior to Friday’s final event, those athletes took part in preparatory competitions at different levels to be selected for the final rounds under the guidance of famed champions, drawn from the civil sector. However, the Army Athletic Committee amidst epidemic threats took all precautionary measures during the conduct of selection meets and today’s final one.
Following close tussles, athletes in the Sri Lanka Artillery clinched the championship trophy as the overall winners while 2nd and 3rd places were won by athletes in Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Sri Lanka Army Service Corps respectively.
Many Army-produced reputed athletes who have brought Gold, Silver and Bronze medals home, having competed in many international athletic meets abroad adding significance to the event were also present to witness this exciting final event, together with many reputed civil sector athletes in the country.
Army athletes in many international meets, including Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, South Asian Sports Meet, World Defence Services Athletic Meet, etc since the inception of the Army Athletics Committee in 1950, chaired by Lieutenant Duncan White who bagged the first-ever Olympic Medal for Sri Lanka, have so far secured best accolades, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, a record achievement which no other single establishment in the country has so far attained to-date.
The day’s Chief Guest expressing his happiness over Army Athletic achievements congratulated each of the winners and distributed trophies and medals to them. The colour rich and eventful Championship Tournament came to a draw with vote of thanks.
Among Army athletes who established new Army records, national level records, new game records and Army Athletic Meet Records during competitions are; 1Sri Lanka Record, 3 Army Athletic Records and 14 Meet Records.
The sprinter, Corporal Amasha de Silva smashed Olympian, Susanthika Jayasinghe’s former 100 m Army record and clocked 11.67 seconds (hand timing) and joined Army Athletic history while Corporal Roshan Dhammika of SLEME Regiment finishing 110 m hurdle run feat in less than 14 seconds (13.91 seconds) breaking the 24-year long record of the Olympian, Mahesh Perera.
Major General Sampath Kotuwegoda, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Harendra Ranasinghe, Commander, 1 Corps, Chairman, Army Athletic Committee, Major General Priyanka Fernando, Director General General Staff, Major General Nihal Amarasekara, Chief Field Engineer, several Senior Officers of the Army and members of the Army Athletic Committee were associated with Friday’s (26) closing ceremony.