By Nuwangi Gunawardena
Sri Lanka will field a contingent of 162 members at the 2022 Commonwealth Games which will occur over a period of eleven days from the 28th of July to the 8th of August in Birmingham, England. This will be the country’s 17th appearance at the Games.
The contingent comprises of 110 athletes (50 men and 60 women) who will compete across fourteen sporting disciplines. This year, for the first time in Sri Lanka’s Commonwealth Games history, the country will field more female athletes than male athletes, primarily due to the qualification of both the women’s rugby and cricket teams for the Commonwealth Games. 2018 weightlifting silver medalist Indika Dissanayake and Sri Lankan Women’s cricket captain Chamari Athapaththu will act as flagbearers for Sri Lanka at the 2022 Games. Amongst the squad are also Olympians Yupun Abeykoon who recently became the first South Asian to sprint 100m under 10 seconds, gymnast Milka de Silva, judoka Chamara Dharmawardhana and three time Olympic shuttler Niluka Karunaratne. Furthermore, previous Commonwealth Games medalists; flyweight boxer Vidanalage Ishan Bandara and weightlifters Chathuranga Lakmal and Chinthana Vidanage are also included in the squad. Chinthana Vidanage is a double Commonwealth Games medalist, with his 2006 gold medal being one of Sri Lanka’s only four Commonwealth Games golds.