May 20, 2024
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    Inaugural Talaimannar-Dhanushkodi Adam's Bridge Paddle Challenge concludes on successful note

    April 12, 2024

    The inaugural Adam's Bridge Paddle Challenge – a sea kayak race held from Talaimannar, Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi, India came to a successful end on 11th April 2024. The event was organized by the Sri Lanka Navy in partnership with the Ministry of Sports, National Association of Canoeing and Kayak Sri Lanka and Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association.

    The shallow waters of the northern region, particularly the Mannar and Jaffna peninsulas, offer an ideal natural setting for the advancement of water sports. Against this backdrop, this competition was arranged to boost tourism linked to water sports, providing numerous advantages to the people of the Northern Province. This initiative also aims to foster the longstanding friendship and cultural ties between India and Sri Lanka, inspired by the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera's vision. The opening ceremony of the event was held under the auspices of the Chief Secretary of the Northern Province, Mr. Ledchumanan Ilaangovan and the Commander of the Navy, at the Talaimannar beach vicinity in the evening of 10th April.

     

    Meanwhile, the Adam's Bridge Paddle Challenge got underway on the morning of 11th April from Talaimannar to Dhanushkodi. Representing Sri Lanka, 31 athletes from National Association of Canoeing, Kayak Sri Lanka, Jade High School Kayaking Club, Adventure SEALs, Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force, Bolgoda Lake Rowing Club, Royal College Colombo 07, Gateway College andLanka Adventure took part in the competition. In the same vein, 03 players from Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association also competed in the event. In a notable achievement, the Navy Commander also participated in the event by kayaking. The Commander of the Navy, known for his expert kayaking skills and record-setting paddle around the island, provided significant motivation to young athletes by participating in the Adam's Bridge Paddle Challenge.

    Certificates were distributed to all tournament participants at Talaimannar Beach, attended by the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake, Director General Services, Rear Admiral Priyal Vithana, Commander North Central Naval Area, Rear Admiral Naleen Navarathna, Commander Southern Naval Area and Chariman National Association of Canoeing and Keyak, Rear Admiral Chinthaka Kumarasinghe, Deputy Area Commander North Central Naval Area, Commodore Mangala Mummullage, Secretary National Association of Canoeing and Kayak, Captain Chaminda Wijesiri as well as representatives from the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association.

    The Adam's Bridge Paddle Challenge was held under two categories, namely K1 and K2. Accordingly, the men's championship (Best Paddler) in the K 1 category was won by Lance Corporal RR Senaratne of the Sri Lanka Army. The second place in the men's K 1 category was won by Chief Petty Officer JC Jayasinghe of the Navy and the third place was won by Leading Seaman HMAD Gunathilake. The women's championship (Best Paddler) in the K 1 category was won by Leading Air Woman KWN Madushani from the Sri Lanka Air Force. Its second and third places were won by MJ De Silva and SM De Silva respectively. Meanwhile, the men's championship in the K 2 category was won by Chief Petty Officer JC Jayasinghe and Leading Engineering Mechanic JB Ekanayake of the Sri Lanka Navy.

    The Commander of the Navy, speaking at the event, expressed that the tournament would see the participation of numerous foreign athletes in the coming years. He highlighted the potential for significant tourism promotion as water sports gain popularity in the shallow seas of the northern region. He also mentioned plans to expand the competition route from India to Talaimannar in 2025, alternating the starting point each year. Moreover, he stated that organizing this tournament would greatly support the promotion of tourism and the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, fostering cultural exchange.

     

    Representatives from the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association, senior officers from the Navy, government officials, kayak athletes from clubs, schools and tri services as well as school children from the area witnessed this event.

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