Lankan swimmers for World Junior C’ships
Eight talented Sri Lankan swimmers, including six from the Killer Whale Aquatics (KWA), have embarked on their journey to compete in the prestigious World Junior Aquatic Championships. This six-day championship is set to unfold in Netanya, Israel, from September 4 to September 9 and is anticipated to attract over 600 budding aquatic talents from more than 100 National Federations worldwide.
The Sri Lankan contingent, equally divided between males and females, offers a rich blend of swimming skills. The male competitors, Binuara Thalagala, Disandu Niriella, Manuja Gamage, and Nevan Senaratne, will demonstrate their prowess in freestyle, breaststroke, and relay events. Meanwhile, the female swimmers, Hiruki de Silva, Akithmi Wasalathanthri, Minagi Rupesinghe, and Anne Venturi, are poised to excel in various freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and distance swimming disciplines.
Notably, four of these athletes, Disandu Niriella, Binura Thalagala, Hiruki de Silva, and Akithmi Wasalathanthri, represented Sri Lanka at the recent Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Youth Games.
The swimmers are attached to the Elite Group of KWA, reaffirming the club’s dedication to nurturing swimming talent. Minagi Rupesinghe, the National Record Holder in the 1500m Freestyle, has been training in England for over a year, while Anne Venturi, a former KWA swimmer currently attending school in Florida, USA, will join the team in Israel. The remaining six athletes began their journey from Sri Lanka in the early hours of yesterday. Leading the Sri Lankan team is Head Coach cum Manager, Manoj Abeysinghe, with Sineth Akila serving as Assistant Coach. “It’s a young and inexperienced team. So, we will go and do our best,” expressed Head Coach Manoj Abeysinghe before the team’s departure at 3 a.m. on Saturday from Sri Lanka.
In the upcoming championship, Binura Thalagala is set to tackle the 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, and 200m Individual Medley, while Disandu Niriella will compete in the 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle, and 200m Freestyle. Manuja Gamage specializes in the 50m Freestyle and 100m Freestyle, and Nevan Senaratne will test his skills in the 50m Breaststroke, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, along with relay events.
On the female side, the Sri Lankan swimmers are equally prepared for their events. Hiruki de Silva will participate in the 100m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, and 400m Freestyle, while Akithmi Wasalathanthri will excel in the 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, and 100m Backstroke. Minagi Rupesinghe is ready for the challenges of the 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, and the demanding 800m Freestyle, while Anne Venturi will compete in the 100m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, in addition to relay events.
These promising athletes carry the hopes of their nation as they prepare to compete on the global stage.