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Asian Games 2018: All you need to know about Sri Lankan men's and women's kabaddi teams

Vijay Sain
ANALYST
Feature
917   //    09 Aug 2018, 23:17 IST

Kabaddi in Sri Lanka is below par in terms of the love towards it. It isn't that much of a popular game in Sri Lanka as people mostly follow cricket, football, and rugby. However, the Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation (SLKF) is devoted to spreading the game and is leaving no stone unturned to provide an opportunity to those who want to enhance their careers through the game of kabaddi. Mr. Anura Pathirana is the SKFL president and a joint secretary of International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), who aspires to see his team win on the big stages one day.

The training camp for Kabaddi team in Sri Lanka coached by Udaya Kumar.
The training camp for the kabaddi team in Sri Lanka, coached by Udaya Kumar.

The Sri Lanka Kabaddi Federation announced 12-member men's and women's squads of kabaddi for the upcoming Jakarta Asian Games 2018. Renowned Indian coach, J. Udaya Kumar who was an Asiad gold medal-winning Kabaddi player himself (2002, 2006, and 2014) is the senior head coach for the Sri Lankan kabaddi teams.

The men's kabaddi team has not achieved a medal in the Asian Games till now. The men's team participated for the very first time in the 1998 Asian Games held in Bangkok, where they could only manage to defeat Thailand (41-28) and Japan (31-16) and stood at the 4th position.

In 2002, Sri Lanka were eliminated as they could only beat Malaysia (18-16) and stood at the 6th position. They are marking their return to the Asian Games after a 15-year-and-10-month gap.

The women's kabaddi team has been phenomenal, however. They didn't participate in the 2010/2014 Asian Games in the women's category, but they managed to get a bronze medal in their very recent outing at the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2017. They also held the bronze medal at the South Asian Games 2010 and 2016 as Madhushani Chathurika, a netball player in the past, led the team impressively. Madhushani, an inspired kabaddi player, shows immense skill in her raiding and admires the recognition which Kabaddi has given her.

Udaya Kumar training the women's team for upcoming Asian Games.
Udaya Kumar (in white) training the women's team for the upcoming Asian Games.

Sri Lankan Kabaddi has dominated a majority of times in the Asian Beach Games as they were the semi-finalists in 2012, 2014, and 2016 Beach Kabaddi. They also held the bronze medal in the men's category of South Asian Games 1999 and made it to the quarter-finals of Kabaddi World Cup 2007. The federation is immensely devoted towards helping new kabaddi players to influence their game and earn a good recognition as they organize different workshops and seminars throughout the calendar years.

Here are the squads of Sri Lankan men's and women's teams for the upcoming tournament:

Men's Squad:

• Chamara Haputhanthri (C)

• Milinda Chaturanga

• Sajith Indrakumara

• Chaminda Samarakoon

• Lahiru Kuruppu

• Lahiru Sampath

• Dilan Sanjaya

• Rathnapala

• Asiri Sadaruwan

• Aslam Sajah

• Pushpakumara

• Nishantha Gunawardhana

Women's squad:

• Madhushani Chaturika (C)

• Kokila Edirisinghe (VC)

• Indika Damyanthi

• Thilini Kanchana

• Madhurika Hansmali

• Methusala Thilakshani

• Nimesha Dilrukshi

• Thilakshi Wijethilaka

• Gothami Kaushalya

• Sajini Jayasinghe

• Indiwari Wejethunga

• Sithumini Manojini

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Vijay Sain
ANALYST
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