Sri Lanka’s boxing future shines bright with U20 team’s medal haul

Boxing Team 1 1

MALAYSIA, Sat Dec 16: Sri Lanka’s budding boxing stars dazzled at the 34th Penang Pesta International Boxing Tournament in Malaysia, securing an impressive haul of five medals. Sri Lanka secured the third place in the medal tally from 16 teams. The talented Under-20 Boxing Team, consisting of six members, displayed great potential and skills during the five-day event that concluded on Friday. This marked a historic moment for Sri Lanka’s boxing community as the country made its debut in this novice tournament, leaving a lasting impression.

Despite having only six youth boxers, Sri Lanka secured a remarkable medal haul, including one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. The tournament featured a total of 65 boxers from 16 teams on the Penang island.

Umayangana Mihiran, the team captain and a seasoned participant in international boxing, clinched a gold medal in the men’s flyweight (51kg) category. Mihiran, a former Vidyarathana University College and Nalanda College boxer who is now a 20-year-old student at Sri Jayewardenepura University, demonstrated great promise for the future of Sri Lankan boxing.

In the welterweight (63.5kg) category, Heshan Jayasinghe from St Sylvester’s College and lightweight (60kg) contender Yasindu Premaratne from S Thomas’ College Mt Lavinia fought valiantly to secure two silver medals in their respective weight classes. Jayasinghe notably became the first Sri Lankan to compete in this higher weight class in many years, marking his debut in international tournaments.

Waruna Bandara and Salmaan Faris, both students of Trinity College, brought home two bronze medals. Bandara competed in the bantamweight (54kg) class, while Faris participated in the men’s minimum weight (48kg) event.

The tournament, held under 11 weight categories, featured participation of 16 teams from countries, including Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Indonesia, and Nepal. Sri Lanka made history by sending a six-member elite Under-20 National squad to compete in this South Asian/South East Asian championship.

Sri Lanka Schools Boxing Association Secretary Jamitha Bandara expressed pride in the team’s achievements, emphasizing the significance of this first-time participation for junior boxers in an international championship. Bandara highlighted the invaluable experience gained by the young athletes and expressed hopes of continuing this tradition in future tournaments.

Bandara also acknowledged the support from the Sri Lanka School Boxing Association, the Ministry of Education, parents, and the National Boxing Federation led by President Dian Gomes, Vice Presidents Wasantha Kumara and Col Hemantha Weerasinghe, as well as General Secretary Abdullah Ibunu. The coaches played a crucial role in guiding the players and managing their performance throughout the competition.

In a noteworthy occasion, a dedicated team of young coaches, including Jamitha Bandara, Asanka Rajapaksha, and Lahiru Senaratne, played a pivotal role alongside Senior Coach Bandula Gamage in elevating these players to their current impressive standard.

Beyond their coaching duties, Jamitha Bandara emerged as a key figure in facilitating the players’ participation in this tournament. As the School Boxing Association Secretary, he took on the responsibility of coordinating with the Education Ministry, leading the proceedings and ensuring the team’s seamless involvement in the event.

Boxer 5
Umayangana Mihiran


Boxer 1 1 1
Waruna Bandara


Boxer 2 1
Yasindu Premaratne


Boxer 3 1
Salman Faaris


Boxer 4 1 1
Heshan Jayasinghe










error: Content is protected !!