Asian International School Leads Sri Lanka’s Charge in International Rowing

AIS photo 1

As the Asian Junior Rowing Championship approaches, the spotlight is on Sri Lanka’s rowing delegation, with a remarkable presence from the Asian International School (AIS). Out of the 11 rowers representing Sri Lanka in Thailand from December 14 to 18, five talented athletes hail from AIS, the trailblazer as the first international school to introduce rowing in Sri Lanka.

What makes this even more noteworthy is that both the boys’ and girls’ teams for Sri Lanka will be led by AIS rowers. Shaylon Gunaratna will spearhead the boys’ team, while Rovynia Wijesekera takes the helm of the girls’ team.

Shaylon Gunaratna stands out as a rising star in Sri Lanka’s athletic scene, securing a gold medal in the Single Scull category at the Asian Coastal Rowing Championship. Facing tough competitors from countries like Indonesia and India, Shaylon showcased extraordinary stamina, staging a remarkable comeback to claim the gold, surprising the entire Asian rowing community.

Not content with just one victory, Shaylon, alongside his schoolmate Rovynia Wijesekara, added another feather to their cap by clinching a bronze medal in the Mixed Double Scull category during a competition held earlier this year along Thailand’s coastal belt.

The AIS rowing team, a force to be reckoned with, includes two female rowers, Nethuki Senanayake and Rovinya Wijesekera, along with three male oarsmen, Shaylon Gunaratna, Venuk Panduwawala, and Shivendra Goonewardene. Together, they are set to row with pride for their nation in this mega event featuring 12 strong rowing nations, including powerhouses like China, Japan, Indonesia, Iran, and India.

Experts attribute this surge in rowing excellence to the influence of Sri Lanka’s National Coach, Spanish Pedro Lopez, and Assistant Coach Shanaka Kariyawasam, along with the dedicated coaching team at AIS led by Sanjeewa Guruge. The AIS Sports Department, under the guidance of Ms. Nihara Bagoos, and the unwavering support from Principal Harshana Perera and teachers, have played a pivotal role in shaping these exceptional rowing talents.

As the anticipation builds for the Asian Junior Rowing Championship, all eyes will be on the AIS rowers, carrying the hopes of a nation and ready to gain experience in this prestigious competition.

AIS photo 2
AIS Rowing Team pose with School Principal (from left): Nethuki Senanayake, Shaylon Gunaratna, Harshana Perera (Principal), Venuk Panduwawala, Shivendra
Goonewardene, Rovynia Wijesekera.
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