Asian gold prospect Tharushi torn between school and country | Sunday Observer

Asian gold prospect Tharushi torn between school and country

10 September, 2023
Tharushi Karunaratne
Tharushi Karunaratne

Sri Lanka’s Athletic Secretary Saman Kumara has voiced concerns over player management ahead of the 19th Asian Games, emphasizing the need for special attention to medal prospects.

Kumara particularly highlighted the case of Tharushi Karunaratne, a gold medal hopeful in the Women’s 800m event.

Karunaratne’s participation in the Central Province School Meet in heavy rain has raised alarm bells as Kumara stressed that an illness could jeopardize Sri Lanka’s hopes at the upcoming Asian Games.

“We expect a gold medal from Tharushi Karunaratne in the Women’s 800m. But the only thing we face is a big issue in protecting her,” said Kumara, expressing concern about Karunaratne’s participation in multiple events under adverse weather conditions.

Kumara pointed out that Karunaratne’s status as a national athlete representing Sri Lanka in the Asian Games later this month, should take precedence over her school competitions. He called on her coaches to exercise caution during a crucial period, emphasizing the potential consequences of illness or injury.

“If she falls ill, everything will be over. She will be unable to compete in fine-tune at the Asian Games. That kind of issue is there. I reckon she should never run at a school meet, especially in heavy rain,” Kumara warned.

Kumara also highlighted the importance of providing guidelines and advice to national pool members on how to protect themselves and avoid adverse weather situations during preparation for the Asian Games.

He stressed the need to prevent injuries that could hinder Karunaratne’s performance.

Karunaratne has previously faced injury concerns, including an instance before the July Asian Athletics Championship where she competed with a hamstring injury and still won the gold medal.

Her injury history underscores the need for caution as she heads into the Asian Games.

“We must prioritize the well-being and preparation of our national athletes and Tharushi Karunaratne’s success at the Asian Games is paramount,” said Kumara.

Karunaratne’s participation in the upcoming John Target School Athletic Championships is likely to come under close scrutiny as she battles to stay injury-free ahead of the Asian Games.