Strategy for Winning Medals at Elite Competitions in Athletics for Sri Lanka
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This paper is a critical evaluation concerning numerous aspects of elite level athletics in Sri Lanka. It is focused on identifying a strategy for the development of athletics by adapting the existing systems that have led other nations to win medals. The literature shows that this subject is a global sporting arms race, where a country has to do something remarkably special to yield success. In this paper, the SPLISS Model which is a conceptual framework that can be used for comparison of elite sports policies will be presented. The nine 'pillars' of the model determine the gaps in scientific research on the relationship between elite sports policies and international sporting success. The method for data collection was qualitative interviews and the questions were highly structured to serve for a deeper exploration of the underlying issues behind the phenomenon. The data has been synthesized to provide an easy understandable analysis and displayed in the form of SWOT, to reflect and include a comparison within and in between interviews and combine separate descriptions to formulate a coherent interpretation. Sri Lanka could consider Asian Games Medals as the measure of success. A Sri Lankan version of the Long Term Athlete Development Model of Canada which is designed and developed combining the best research findings of latest sports science and best practices from around the world is recommended for all schools and universities in Sri Lanka, in order to produce athletes who reach their full potential. One of the possible means to achieve short-term success is through 'cross sport' talent identification and development. In the face of remarkable human resources and infrastructure facilities, if Sri Lanka properly concentrates on all pillars of the SPLISS Model, the country could certainly count on winning medals at elite competitions in the most important sport of athletics.