Lifting spirits, lifting weights: Sri Lanka’s champions head to Asia

Indika Dissanayake 1

COLOMBO, Jan 15, 6PM – As Sri Lanka’s Weightlifting National Champions set their sights on the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the nation is buzzing with excitement and pride. The event, organized by the Asian Weightlifting Federation, is scheduled to commence from February 3 to 10, marking a crucial step in the athletes’ pursuit of Olympic dreams.

Chathurika Priyanthi, a standout performer at the recent Weightlifting National Championship in Polonnaruwa, has emerged as a trailblazer in the sport. Competing in the 87kg weight category, Priyanthi lifted an astonishing 203 kgs, securing her place as the National Champion. Her historic feat included a remarkable 90kg in snatch and an impressive 113kg in clean and jerk, setting three Sri Lanka records.

Priyanthi’s exceptional performance not only broke barriers by surpassing the 200kg mark but also made her the highest-weightlifting woman in Sri Lanka’s history. The achievement has garnered attention and admiration, placing her in a unique position as a pioneer for the sport in the country.

The Sri Lanka Weightlifting Association expressed optimism about Olympic qualification, expressing the hope that at least two lifters, including Priyanthi, will secure spots at the Paris Summer Olympics.

Joining Priyanthi on this prestigious journey are National Champions Indika Dissanayake from Sri Lanka Navy and Hansani Gomes from Sri Lanka Air Force. Dissanayake, competing in the 73kg weight class, and Gomes, in the 47kg weight category, clinched their national titles in the recently concluded Sri Lanka Nationals.

The trio, accompanied by Coach RB Wickremasinghe and Team Manager Chaminda Ratnayake, is set to depart on February 1 for the week-long Asian Championship. The competition will see participation from approximately 40 top nations across Asia, adding to the challenge and significance of the event.

Looking beyond the Asian Championship, Sri Lanka is preparing to host the World Cup in Thailand in March. This event serves as the penultimate qualifying opportunity for Sri Lankan weightlifters to secure spots at the 2024 Paris Olympics scheduled for August. The World Cup will be held in March.

 

Indika Dissanayake
Indika Dissanayake
Hasani Gomes
Hansani Gomes
Chathurika Priyanthi
Chathurika Priyanthi
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