Judokas will face stiff challenge from India and Nepal
Sri Lanka will face a stiff challenge in Judo from India and Nepal in
Judo Competition to be held from August 26 to 27 at S. Thomas' College
Indoor Stadium, Mt. Lavinia. "But we are ready as the judokas are on the
right track for the South Asian Games," said Sarath Kasthuriarachchi,
Secretary of Judo Federation of Sri Lanka.
Lanka's main problem on kits and mattresses have been solved by the
Sports Ministry. Furthermore, Japanese International Corporate Agency (JAICA)
has provided us with a coach from Japan. Miyako Ichino, a well known
judo coach, is in charge of our players", said the Secretary.
The local judokas also went to Thailand recently for international
judo tournament. They also trained for two weeks with Thai national judo
players and were able to improve their skills, style and techniques on
Kasthuriarachchi said that 70 judokas were in the first training pool
from last year and in February this year, the pool was reduced to 30 and
the final selection was made on June 17 at the Sugathadasa Indoor
Stadium. Altogether 11 judokas, 6 men players and 5 women will represent
Judokas train under V. Susantha Perera, National Coach at the Judo
Hall, next to Sugathadasa Stadium. In addition, some others train in
Gampola and Anuradhapura. The 11-member judo team is helped by the Judo
Federation. They have been provided with all facilities. They will join
together at Judo Hall in Colombo and continue training till August 24.
All judokas will be found board and lodging facilities while in Colombo.
Kasthuriarachchi who has represented Sri Lanka from 1980 to 1990 and
is 3rd Black Dan and International Referee. He said that although judo
events were earlier scheduled to be held at Colombo Campus, now they
have been shifted to S. Thomas' College, Indoor Stadium in Mount Lavinia.
Judo is also included for the first time in Sri Lanka at the SA
Games. Lankan judokas last participated in the discipline in 1995 in
Madras and won 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. India, Bangladesh, Nepal,
Pakistan, Afghanistan together with Sri Lanka will participate in judo
events in Colombo.
"We will definitely win 2 gold medals in addition to silver and
bronze medals", said Kasthuriarachchi.
Sri Lanka team: (Men) Madura Milan (Navy), under-60 kg weight class,
M. G. J. Banda (Navy) under-66 kg, S. K. Happuarachchi (Police) under-73
kg, R. D. K. P. G. Gunasekera (Police) under-81 kg, U. Bambaradeniya
(Air Force) 90 kg, M. Pushpakumara (Police) under-100 kg.
Women - Chamila Wijeratne (Jinaraja School Gampola) under-48 kg,
Niluma Idemawatta (Jinaraja School Gampola) under-52 kg, Harshani Kumari
Herath (Wewathanne MV Gampola), 57 kg, Chandimali Gunasekera (Army) 63
kg, Lakmini Weerasinghe (Air Force) under-70 kg.