SLC Recognizes Athletic Excellence with Record Prize Money

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Sri Lanka Cricket, under the leadership of Shammi Silva, made headlines by awarding a total of 28 million rupees to the medal winners and coaches of the Sri Lankan contingent at the 2023 Asian Games. The special function, held at the SLC Headquarters in Colombo on Friday, celebrated the outstanding achievements of the athletes and mentors.

The significant financial gesture extended to 10 athletes who showcased exceptional prowess in their respective events. Among them, Tharushi Karunaratne, the 800m gold medalist, and Dilhani Lekamge, who secured a silver medal in women’s javelin throw, were recognized for their outstanding performances. Additionally, the bronze medal-winning six members of the men’s 4x400m relay team and the four members of the women’s 4x400m relay quartet were acknowledged for their contribution to the nation’s success.

Two distinguished coaches, Susantha Fernando, mentor to Tharushi Karunaratne since her school days at A. Ratnayake Central College Walala, and Pradeep Nishantha, coach of Dilhani Lekamge, were also honored for their guidance and support during the Asian Games.

Tharushi Karunaratne, lauded as the most gifted athlete, achieved a monumental feat by clinching the 800m gold medal for the country after a gap of 21 years. In recognition of her outstanding accomplishment, she was awarded a substantial prize of Rs 10 million. Furthermore, her contribution to the 4x400m relay quartet earned her an additional Rs 1 million.

The financial acknowledgments continued, with Dilhani Lekamge, the women’s javelin throw silver medalist, receiving Rs 5 million. Members of the women’s 4x400m relay team, including Jayeshi Utthara (attended by her father), Sayuri Lakshima, Nadeesha Ramanayake, and Tharushi Karunaratne, each received Rs 1 million for their bronze medal achievement.

The men’s 4x400m relay quartet, consisting of Dinuka Deshan, Rajitha Rajakaruna, Pabasara Niku, Kalinga Kumarage, an absent Aruna Dharshana, and Pasindu Kodikara, were individually rewarded with Rs 1 million each for their bronze medal.

Shifting the spotlight Tharushi Karunaratne expressed her gratitude for the substantial reward, stating, “I am really happy today. It’s a great thing that different sports felicitate us. I thank SLC for rewarding our achievements. This will be hugely important for our future sports careers.”

Beyond athletics, the Sri Lanka Women’s cricket team, which achieved a silver medal in the Asian Games, was assured a separate day of felicitation. Sri Lanka Cricket announced plans to honor the Asian Games silver medal-winning cricket team, led by Chamari Atapattu, in due course.

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