Only four Lankans for London Olympics
Sri Lanka's chances for enrolling more members to the forthcoming London Olympics looks like ending with only four participants. According to the National Olympic Committee Chairman Hemasiri Fernando, the four participants, who had already been selected for London Olympics, are Niluka Karunaratne (Badminton), Indrajith Cooray (Marathon), Mangala Samarakoon (Shooting) and Heshan Unamboowa (swimming) Only two of them, Niluka and Indrjith have made their way to the Olympics by attaining the stipulated qualifying standards set by the IOC.
Niluka, who had many international victories and came up in the ladder, has been ranked at 50th in the world rankings while Indrajith met the required standards at the London Marathon last month. Shooter Mangala Samarakoon and Heshan Unamboowa travel to London as they have received wild card entries. The final date for any nation to include more athletes for London Olympics expires on May 31 and it looks that no other Sri Lanka will be able to achieve this in next couple of days.
An eight member contingent represented Sri Lanka in 2008 Olympics, Beijing, under the leadership of Olympic silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe. The most likely candidate to lead the Sri Lanka contingent in London 2012 is Mangala Samarakoon. He is a senior shooter with lot of international experience.
- By Namal Pathirage