Fifteen Foreign athletes for SLA - Nestomalt marathon | Daily News

Fifteen Foreign athletes for SLA - Nestomalt marathon

Bandula Egodage the Vice President of Nestle Ltd (third from right) handing over half marathon sponsorship to SLA President Major General Palitha Fernando at the press briefing held at CRv& FC. SLA Secretary Prema Pinnawala and Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa are also present.

Sri Lanka Athletics (SLA) will conduct a half marathon to mark it’s centenary year celebrations with Nestomalt coming as the main sponsor of this event scheduled to be held in January 22.

SLA President, Major General (Rtd) Palitha Fernando confirmed that the organisers expect at least 250 athletes to take part with over 120 entries already received. In addition 15 athletes representing Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Nepal have confirmed their participation, as a mark of solidarity towards SLA in celebrating its 100th year.

We are the third oldest affiliation of International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) from the Asian region. SLA’s journey towards its 100th year was never a rosy path, we faced many challenges while also claiming medals at international stage, including two silvers at the Olympics Games. We can be proud as one of the productive sports bodies of Sri Lanka,” added SLA chief Maj. Gen. Fernando.

SLA was established on January 22 in 1922 as Amateur Athletics Association of Sri Lanka and was renamed recently with its half marathon day completing the 100 years. SLA has been closely associating with main sponsor Nestomalt for over three decades by organising the country’s biggest marathon event famously known as Nestomalt Marathon.

Nestle Lanka Vice President Bandula Egodage said already for more than 30 years Nestle joined hands with the marathon while the company have good relationship with Sri Lankan customers over 115 years and Nestle always keen to associate with sports with out expecting any benefits added Bandula Egodage.

The winners will receive attractive cash awards from sponsors. Each winner of men and women marathon will receive 2 lakhs of rupees each while second and third places will receive 1.5 and 1 lakh rupees. In addition 4th and 5th places also will receive Rs. 75,000 and Rs.50, 000 cash awards.

The 21kilometre half marathon will set off from Diyatha Uyana near Battaramulla and complete at the same vicinity after going through a course covering Etul Kotte, Pitakotte, Pagoda Road passing Nugegoda Super Market towards High Level Road, from where it will proceed towards Pannipitiya passing Maharagama. From there the runners will turn towards Borella Road to Thalawathugoda and Battaramulla before reaching the finishing line.

In addition to the half marathon, which flags off at 6.00a.m. next Saturday, SLA has also organised a health run of five kilometres, from the same starting point. This run will turn towards Parliament Road and take a left turn at the next junction of three bridges, and move on to Battaramulla, where it ends.

Initially the closing date for the half marathon was set as January 12, but the organisers have extended that to January 20. All protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and government officials with regard to COVID-19 prevention will be adhered by SLA, but SLA president stated that tests would not be conducted on the race day.

Participating athletes should take that responsibility, and provide the organisers with records of an approved PCR test prior to the event. All other areas will be conducted strictly following health guidelines issued by the government,” SLA President explained.

Sri Lanka Police will assist SLA in navigating the runners, crowd and traffic controlling, and its spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that what is expected in athletes and others involved with the half marathon, is discipline.

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