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The 32nd annual Mercantile Athletic Championships organized and conducted by the Mercantile Athletic Association will commence today (23rd August) at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International stadium, Diyagama.

About 100 athletes from India’s Mercantile Athletic Association have arrived in the island to compete along with our local athletes. The local Association considers this as a boost for our athletes to improve their talents competing against foreigners. Sydney Ratnayake the president of the MAA disclosed these details at a media briefing at the Football House Auditorium.

He further said that the championship is sponsored by Ceylon Biscuits for the third successive year and two more sponsors are National Development Bank and Hatton National Bank who have come forward to support this event.

According to MAA this year’s event will see nearly 1500 competitors (850 men, 450 women) billed to participate along with the Indian athletes. They will be competing in different categories such as novices men and women, championship men and women and five different age categories starting from over-30 years for men and women.

Theja Peiris General Manager Ceylon Biscuits speaking at the briefing said it is their duty to serve the society of the Private sector employees to enjoy through sports, to keep their health in good condition and also to pave the way for all affiliated company employees to bring sporting honours for their respective firms.

She further noted that this sort of event also help build friendship among all business enterprises and further serve competitors to show their talents while improving on their standards to reach higher levels in sports.

President Ratnayake said that the championship winner will carry away the Ritzbury Trophy awarded by Ceylon Biscuits Limited. Nandana Wickrama Director Marketing CBL will be the chief guest on the second and final day will present the awards.