Powerlifters win 24 medals at Asian meet | Sunday Observer

Powerlifters win 24 medals at Asian meet

9 July, 2023
Ransilu Jayathilaka speaking to the media
Ransilu Jayathilaka speaking to the media

Powerlifting Federation runs without officials but their athletes are lifting medals in international events. This was revealed in the presence of Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe at a media event at the Duncan White Foundation at the Ministry on Wednesday (5).

The power lifters won four gold, 16 silver and four bronze medals at the Asian/Pacific and African Powerlifting and Bench Press Classic Championship held in Hong Kong recently. These medals were won with their own perseverance and determination to participate in the championship.

Minister Roshan Ranasinghe said that he has not seen any officials from the Federation up to now and does not know who they are.

It would be a good thing if the Minister installs an interim committee to look into the interests of their athletes according to past athletes who have won medals.

“There were no officials in the association who came forward to help us proceed for the event. It was on our own willpower that we worked towards attending the event knowing very well that we can win medals. It is the Sports Minister who helped us obtain the visas at the last minute,” said Ransilu Jayathillake who is the best power lifter in Sri Lanka.

Dareen Weerasinghe the captain of the team said: “We would like to get a strong Federation in the future. This is a sport where the athletes will improve and the young will like to take to power lifting that will give them a strong body”, noted Weerasinghe.

“Ransilu Jayathillake is the fourth best in Asia and seventh best in the world and is looking forward to going for the Olympic Games if Power lifting is included,” added Weerasinghe.

Sri Lankan records were established by Ransilu Jayathilaka - Asian deadlift record and highest lift in South Asia.

Dareen Weerasinghe, Rashitha de Silva, Shenuki Nawodya and Kunam Pushpanathan were the other record breakers.

Among the junior lifters to win medals were Radeesha de Silva - four bronze in Classic powerlifting – Junior, Sulesh Mendis- three silver and one bronze in Classic powerlifting - sub Junior and Promod Fernando- four silver in Classic powerlifting – Junior.

The Sri Lanka team also included Kunam Pushpanathan who lives in Jaffna. He comes to Colombo once a week to practice as there are no equipments in Jaffna. He had established a Sri Lanka record in Hong Kong. There were also five women power lifters who won medals in Hong Kong.

They are looking forward to participating in another international competition that is to be held in Malaysia in December and is banking on sponsors to support them.

Six countries participated in the Hong Kong championship with Mongolia and India leading the way.