Commonwealth Games bronze winner calls it a day | Sunday Observer

Commonwealth Games bronze winner calls it a day

10 September, 2023
Sudesh Peiris  speaking to the media
Sudesh Peiris speaking to the media

Former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in weight lifting Sudesh Peiris announced his retirement from the sport at a media briefing held at the NOC auditorium on Wednesday (6).

Peiris started his career as a 12 year old and ends it having completed 25 years. He has won many medals along the way, held the national record and has won the National Championship and National Games from 2000 to 2009, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

His first coach was Ranjith Perera, a veteran sportsman, who spotted and picked up Sudesh from his school St. Mary’s College in Negombo at the age of 12 years.

Sudesh was then in the 33 kgs weight category and would always end up as the best weight lifter.

“He was the under-20 best weight lifter in 2005 and in the next year established the Sri Lanka record”, said coach Ranjith Perera.

Sudesh admitted he needed to be motivated and nothing came to him on a platter.

“I was lazy at the beginning because I had to cycle to Katunayake to train in the house of coach Perera. Training was free of charge but the coach would give me a few slices of bread, a cup of tea and some mangoes that had fallen from the tree in his garden,” recalled Sudesh.

“I then joined the Air Force where RM Wickremasinghe was the coach and from there I used to participate in meets held island wide,” added Sudesh.

He was fortunate enough to go to Japan in 2009 for further training in weight lifting. It was the next year in 2010 that Sudesh won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi. His Japanese coach and physio were behind him in Delhi as well and that gave him the strength to perform at his best.

“Don’t give up though it is hard to find sponsors. Be focused and do your drills with dedication only then that you can win in competitions. Never think that you cannot progress if you don’t have financial support. Do your best at training only then that you can win in competitions and the support will come your way,” Maxie de Silva the Secretary of NOC told Sudesh.

International achievements:

2006: South Asian Games – bronze medal 69 kg weight class
2010: Commonwealth Games- Delhi, bronze medal

2011: Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships- gold medal.
2014: Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow – Silver medal

Sri Lanka team captain

2016: Participated in Brazil Olympics
2016: Commonwealth Weightlifting Games in Malaysia, Silver Medal 69 kg.

2016: South Asian Games, India – Gold medal 62 kg
2022: Commonwealth Selection Tournament in Singapore, Silver medal

2009 to 2012 and 2016 Japan National Championship, Gold, Silver and Bronze wins