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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008

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Heshan, Mayumi for Beijing Olympics

OLYMPIC: Two of the most promising and outstanding swimmers 'powerhouse' Heshan Unamboowe of Trinity College who established four new Sri Lanka records at the recently concluded FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships held in Manchester, London and 'golden girl' Mayumi Raheem who won ten medals at the 2006 SAF Games now presently training under an American coach in Singapore has been selected to swim at the Olympic Games to be held in August in Beijing.

Nethru Nanayakkara, Media Co-ordinator SLASU said that the committee had no hesitation of picking these two swimmers to represent Sri Lanka in Beijing as both were on hundred percent on the criteria set by FINA (World Controlling Body for Swimming) NOC, National Sports Council and SLASU.

Both have performed exceptionally well in the local and international meets for the past two years and has won laurels to the country.

Trinitians Unamboowe, the 16-years-old swimmer who has won the best swimmer's award in all the meets conducted by SLASU and Schools Swimming association and Mayumi has excelled in all the meets she has participated. The 15-years-old Mayumi was the 'star' women's swimmer at the Colombo South Asian Games.

Nanayakkara added: "At last we have settled the issue of selecting the two swimmers for Beijing Olympics. There were several names such as Andrew Abeysinghe (now in USA), Daniel Lee (presently in Australia), Miniruwani Samarakoon of Gateway International School, Kandy, Mineka Karunaratne of Asian International School for selections. But SLASU decided on Heshan and Mayumi on performances and criteria set by the authorities.

Both names however has to be approved by the Ministry of Sports on the recommendation of NOC, Sri Lanka National Sports Council.

Both swimmers' air fare and other facilities are looked after by FINA. This is the normal procedure when local swimmers compete at international meets FINA provide free tickets and board and lodging said Nanayakkara.

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