Muthu leads Sri Lanka at Olympic qualifiers

Published : 9:00 am  November 4, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (697) reads | 

BY SHAMSEER JALEEL

DM-24-2

Tiger and caddy

Former Thomian and present Havies player Sudharshan Muthuthathri will lead Sri Lanka at the Asian qualifiers for the Rio Olympics 2016 which will take place at the Hong Kong Stadium on November 7 and 8. Seven players who toured Singapore for the Singapore Cricket Club rugby sevens left Singapore for Hong Kong last night. They are skipper Muthuthanthri, Shenal Dias, Srinarth Sooriyabandara, Richard Dharmapala, Sandun Herath, Kanchana Ramanayake and Hirantha Perera, while Fazil Marija,

Gayan Weeraratne, Nigel Ratwatte, Anurudha Wilwara and Dhanushka Ranjan left Colombo to Hong Kong in the early hours today. The winners of the Asian qualifier will receive the sole automatic berth for the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

Men’s champion will advance automatically to Rio while the women’s teams will compete in a two-tournament series in Hong Kong and Japan later this month. Asia will also have spots for the other high-placing men’s and women’s teams from the Qualifier in a final international repechage tournament in June 2016.

Hong Kong have drawn a beneficial group, in Pool B, ahead of Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Philippines and Iran, who are making their 2015 debut in a senior Asia Rugby event next weekend. With a blend of size and speed, fourth-ranked Sri Lanka will have a tough group outing against Hong Kong. Hong Kong will include 11 of their 12 players that won the Silver medal at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea in their squad.