Three from Sri Lanka team go missing at Commonwealth Games


BIRMINGHAM, England – The Sri Lankan team has asked its athletes and officials at the Commonwealth Games to surrender their passports after three members went missing.

The nation, which is facing an enormous economic crisis, confirmed late Wednesday that a wrestler, a judoka and a judo coach have disappeared from one of the villages housing athletes and officials.

Sri Lanka team spokesman Gobinath Sivarajah told The Telegraph in India that Birmingham police are investigating the absence of the three members.

“We have asked all athletes and officials to submit their passports to our respective venue officials in all villages after the incident,” he said. “Police are investigating and the three are unable to cross UK borders. What happened is really unfortunate.”

The last games on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018 saw almost a third of the Cameroonian team missing after the event. Rwanda’s weightlifting coach also fled during a toilet break at the host’s stadium.

It was reported that at least 230 athletes and officials applied for protection visas in Australia after the event, but the majority were rejected.

Sri Lanka, who fielded a 161-man contingent for the 2022 games, have so far won a bronze medal in Birmingham.

On the track, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah added a Commonwealth Games gold medal to her résumé in the 100 meters, winning in 10.95 seconds. The Jamaican defeated St Lucia’s Julien Alfred while England’s Daryll Neita took the bronze medal.

Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala won the men’s 100 meters in a time of 10.02 seconds. Akani Simbine of South Africa was second while Yupun Abeykoon of Sri Lanka took the bronze medal.

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan received huge support from the crowd at Alexander Stadium as she set a new game record of 30:48.60 in the women’s 10,000m. Her mother, Liz Nuttall, won gold medals in 1986 and 1990 in Edinburgh and Auckland.

Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus ended an excellent singles match when she defeated rising Canadian star Summer McIntosh in a thrilling 400m freestyle.

Titmus, who had defeated American champion Katie Ledecky at the Tokyo Olympics, was pushed to the top by 15-year-old McIntosh.

McIntosh announced himself as a future star at the World Championships in Budapest in June, having won the 200m and 400m individual medley at that event.

One night after winning the 800-meter freestyle, Titmus recorded a time of 3:58.06 to overtake McIntosh by just over a second. The Australian also won the 200m freestyle.

World champion Ben Proud claimed his third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 50m freestyle, celebrating his victory in front of his home crowd in a time of 21.36 seconds.

Proud, 27, beat fellow Englishman Lewis Burras by 0.32 seconds, with Canada’s Joshua Edwards third.

“For me, this is a very big success. To say I’ve been here for eight years…is very special to me,” he said.

Sam Short’s sensational 1500m freestyle swim continued Australia’s rich tradition of endurance racing.

The 18-year-old Short won a thrilling contest in 14:48.54, just over three seconds ahead of Daniel Wiffen of Northern Ireland, with England’s Luke Turley third.

Earlier Wednesday, the Indian women’s field hockey team advanced to the medal round after beating Canada 3-2. The win propels India into a semi-final against Australia on Friday.

Weightlifting junior Periclex Ngadja Nyabeyeu was in tears after winning Cameroon’s first gold medal at these Games in the men’s 109-kilogram division, totaling 361 kilos (796 lbs).

“It’s big, very big for me, for my family. I cried because it was too much for me, too much to take in,” he said.

New Zealand’s Sam Gaze managed to defend his 2018 gold medal in mountain biking on Australia’s Gold Coast with a convincing win at Cannock Chase Forest.

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