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Athula Wijewickrema outstanding weightlifter and coach

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Athula Wijewickrema with his Son,Bevishan who is also a talented Weightlifter. (Pics. by Upananda Jayasundera-Kandy Sports Special Correspondent)

Athula Wijewickrema is an old Boy of Kingswood College,Kandy who is a veteran Weightlifter as well as a talented Weightlifting Coach in the Central Province. He started weightlifting at the age of Twelve years in the year 1980 under the guidance of his Uncle,S.A.Wijewickrema who revived the sport in 1962 after Ten long years at the YMCA, Kandy.

After several years of training Athula won the Junior National Championship by establishing several weightlifting records and he represented Sri Lanka at the Junior World Championships in 1984 in United Kingdom. Accordingly he graduated to the Senior weightlifting category and won the Senior Nationals which was dominated by him for Sixteen long years establishing over Thirty Sri Lankan Records and was adjudged the Best Lifter Five times which is a rare achievement.

He represented Sri Lanka at the Junior World Championship in United Kingdom in 1984, SAF Games in India in 1987, Asian championship in China in 1988, Moscow Friendship Games in the same year, Silver Dragon World Cup Meet in UK, SAF Games in Pakistan in 1989, and SAF Games in Colombo,Sri Lanka winning a Bronze in 1991, SAF Games in India and won a Bronze in 1995, SAF Games in Nepal in 1999.As a Power Lifter Athula won a Silver Medal at the Commonwealth Sports Competition in South Africa in 2017 and bagged a Gold Medal at the Asian Weightlifting Championship held in India in 1918 in the 105 Kgs. Athula also established an Asian Record in the Squat Lifting 265 Kgs. erasing a previous record of 250 Kgs. As a Coach he was at the Asian Inter City Meet in Thailand in 2002, SAF Games in Pakistan in 2004, SAF Games in Colombo in 2006, Namju Cup in Iran in 2009, Commonwealth Championship in Samoa in 2006, Commonwealth championship in Malaysia in 2009, Commonwealth championship in South Africa in 2011, and SAF Games in Nepal in 2012.

Athula Wijewickrema is also a Grade One Weightlifting Referee in Sri Lanka as well as an International Referee.

He followed a Coaching Course under a Bulgarian in 1981 and in 1988 till 2002 under a Hungarian Coach. He has produced over 2000 Weightlifters and most of them have won National and International medals. Some of them are S.Wijesuriya(Gold) Chinthana Vidanage(Gold) Nadini Gunasekera(Gold) and Dhammika Harischandra(Gold).

Athula has also been a Strength and Conditioning Instructor at Trinity College. Kingswood College and St.Anthony’s College. He currently functions as a Sports Officer of the Sports Ministry in the Development Section of the Ministry of Sports. His intention is to continue Weightlifting to produce some more Weightlifters in the Country.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 – 01:00

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