Sri Lanka’s Overall Men’s Captain, Dharmawardana who was the flag bearer at the opening ceremony will take on Aden-Alexandre Houssein of Djibouti in the 73kg category first-round to be worked off at the Nippon Budokan on Monday.
The Lankan judoka had his final workout today, hoping to give out his best to advance to 73kg pre quarters.
Dharmawardana who won Gold Medals in his pet event the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal and at the 2018 European Cup in Slovenia, has also won the Silver at 2018 International Turnier Zeltweg in Austria.
“I have trained hard for this event and want to make my presence felt. Whatever it may be, I will play my heart out,” he said. There are 16 meetings for the 32 judokas taking part in the 73kg elimination round.
Chamara Nuwan Dharmawardana
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan shuttler Niluka Karunaratne is due to play Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in his second preliminary round match of the Men’s Singles to be played at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza Court 3 commencing at 7.20 p.m. Japan ST (3.50 p.m. SL time) on Monday.
Karunaratne lost his opening qualifier to Taiwan’s Tzu-Wei Wang in straight sets 12-21, 15-21 in 42 minutes last night. Competing in his third successive Olympic Games after London 2012 and Rio 2016, Karunaratne was nowhere near his previous form from yesteryear.
He had a superlative performance in London nine years ago entering pre quarter finals but was eliminated from group qualifier stages in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.
South Asia’s fastest man Yupun Abeykoon arrived here today, making Mathilda Karlsson the only Lankan competitor to reach here yet.
Abeyoon, along with his coach Claudio Licciardello, who left Rome yesterday, arrived here this morning.
Abeykoon, who registered a career-best 10.15 seconds in his 100m dash last month, is determined to improve on his South Asian record in the Japanese capital. There are seven Men’s 100m qualifying round heats commencing from 11.35 am Japan ST (8.05 SL time) on Saturday (31).
The other Sri Lankan competitor in track and field events, Nimali Liyanarachichi reached here yesterday, along with her coach Sujith Nilantha Abeysekara.
She got into immediate training action today, completing some strenuous seasons under the watchful eyes of Coach Abeysekara.
She is due to compete in the Women’s 800m event first round heats on Friday (July 30). There are six Women’s 800m qualifying round heats commencing from 9.55 a.m. Japan ST (6.25 a.m. SL time).