I will Make Asia Shine Through Gymnastics
Milka Gehani, who took part in Gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics, said that she would win a medal for the country at the upcoming Asian and Commonwealth Games. The experience at the Tokyo Olympics has been a turning point in her life.
Talking to media, Milka Gehani de Silva thanked Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa, the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) and CRYSBRO.
Being the first Sri Lankan representative at the Olympics in Gymnastics, Milka expects to train in Japan until 2024. She added that she would make the best of this opportunity and work towards bringing glory to Sri Lanka.
“You meet the world’s best sportswomen at the Olympics. I observed their technical skills and experience required for rhythmic gymnastics. The best experience I received is how to prepare for a sporting event. I haven’t participated in an international game in 2-years. Winning a medal at the Asian and Commonwealth Games is my only dream,” says Milka.
18-year-old Milka surpassed the Indian gymnast during the initial round at the Tokyo Ariake Gymnastics Centre by taking 28th place. During the 4 stages, she scored 45.798 points, becoming overall 78th out of 85.
However, other Asian countries like South Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia are ahead of her. Milka scored 13.666 points during the Pommel Horse stage, which is a high standard at an Asian level. She scored 10.866 points during the floor exercise, but lost out in the other two events due to weaknesses. She only scored 11.266 points in the Balance Beam event - since she lost her balance twice - and due to a lack of rhythm, she scored only 10.866 points in the Uneven Bars event.
Milka is receiving a scholarship of US$ 670 per month to train in Japan. She is also supported by the NOCSL-CRYSBRO Next Champ scholarship programme. She has been training in Japan since 2019, and on a request made by NOCSL, the duration of her scholarship has been extended.
“We are ecstatic about Milka's near-Olympic qualification and are confident that she will go on to bring back an Olympic medal to our island nation once again should she qualify to compete in the most prestigious arena in the world of sports. This is clear testament to the effectiveness and power of the Next Champ initiative, which aims to mould future torch bearers of Sri Lankan sports. Our primary focus has been to support the journey, strategy, and holistic development of each athlete which involves a combination of physical, mental, and psychological training. At the core of this initiative, will always remain a deep desire to elevate the experiences of many resilient Sri Lankan athletes with big dreams but very little financial backing to make them a reality," stated Crysbro Senior Marketing Manager Amores Sellar.
As part of its ongoing mission to empower and support the aspirations of young people in Sri Lanka, the country's premier poultry producer Crysbro recently awarded several scholarships to a select group of gifted young athletes selected under the NOCSL-Crysbro Next Champ Initiative. The NOCSL-Crysbro Next Champ Initiative was launched with the objective of empowering talented young athletes, and refining their potential to be winners in the international sporting arena.
The scholarship covers all transportation costs, nutrition, coaching fees, accommodation, clothing, sports gear and medical expenses necessary for the training, grooming and development of each selected athlete for two years, with prospect of extension. The programme also gives athletes access to a combination of high-value tools and world-class mentors.
The 'NOCSL-CRYSBRO Next Champ' scholarship programme is phase-II of Crysbro's 'Next Champ' scholarship programme, which up to date has groomed and supported the dreams of 130 young athletes from the under-privileged regions of the country. The initiative has also successfully produced a collection of athletes who secured gold and silver medals at the Nepal South Asian Games in 2019. The project’s founding vision sought to bolster Crysbro’s already significant social contribution as a key pillar of the country’s rural economy by creating sporting opportunities and promoting the message of staying physically and mentally active.
Crysbro, along with NOCSL, launched the NOCSL-CRYSBRO Next Champ programme, to identify and support 20 talented young athletes from Sri Lanka who are capable of bringing international recognition to the country. As an extension of this programme, the ‘Next Olympic Hope’ was introduced to allow the public to support 20 young athletes selected from the NOCSL-CRYSBRO Next Champ programme, who have proven themselves through multiple wins in both the local and international arenas. Through ‘Next Olympic Hope’, Sri Lankans living within and outside the country can make well-deserved donations to support these young and budding athletes, via www.nextolympichope.com.