Rio Olympics 2016 commence today, nine Sri Lankan athletes compete


Aug 05, 2016 (LBO) – Nine athletes from Sri Lanka have traveled to compete in eight events at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which will officially begin in Rio today.

The nine-member team will be captained by Anuradha Indrajith Cooray. The rest of the team includes, Niluka Rajesekara and Sumedha Ranasinghe as athletes; Mathew Abeyasinghe and Kimiko Raheem for swimming; Sudesh Peris for weight lifting; Niluka Karunarathne for badminton; Mangala Samarakoon for shooting and Chamara Dharmawardhana for Judo.

The games will be held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from 05 to 21 August 2016 with the participation of 10,500 sportsmen and women representing 206 countries in the world.

An estimated three billion people will watch the opening ceremony scheduled at midnight BST on Friday.

The build-up to the games has been dominated by a Russian doping scandal and issues with the city’s security, infrastructure and venues.

Brazil has drafted in 85,000 security personnel from 55 countries who will be stationed at the sport venues, Olympic village, airports and main roads while also 200km of security fencing is being used.

More than 500,000 tourists are expected to come to the Games and organisers say more than one million of the 7.5 million tickets remain unsold.

The Rio Games will be the first to feature Olympians born since the year 2000 and the youngest is 13 year-old Nepalese swimmer Gaurika Singh.

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