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Sri Lanka showcased in new sport at Paper Plane World Championship

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Manitha Abeysiriwardena throws his plane at the world championships  in Salzburg, Austria
Manitha Abeysiriwardena throws his plane at the world championships in Salzburg, Austria

A Sri Lankan duo made up of Manitha Abeysiriwardena and Senesh Weerasiri represented the country at the world finals of a new sport Paper Plane World Championship held in Salzburg, Austria this month that was sponsored by sports promoting giant Red Bull.

The two qualified from a local tournament and were among as many as 61,000 competitors from among 60 nations in three categories called Distance, Airtime and Aerobatics.

Lazar Krsti of Serbia won the Distance event by recording 61.11 metres while Pakistan’s Rana Saeed competing in the Airtime event threw his paper plane that flew for 14.86 seconds to win by setting a new record for take-off and landing in the Red Bull Paper Wings Super final.

In the Aerobatics competition, pilots had just 60 seconds to dazzle the judging panel and Seunghoon Lee of South Korea captured first place in a performance where he wore a formal black tuxedo, presented magician-like choreography and launched planes that twirled, boomeranged and flapped their wings.

Abeysiriwardena said after the championship that it was a dream come true for them to contest a world event by showcasing Sri Lanka.

“We’ve been making and flying paper planes since childhood and never imagined we’d be representing the country one day. We are very grateful to Red Bull for the opportunity and will be surely aiming higher next year,” he said.

According to the rules, all Distance and Airtime pilots are required to make their plane from identical materials from a single, standardized sheet A4 paper provided by the event organizers.

Their task was to create the most aerodynamic shape possible by only folding the paper with no cutting, tearing, gluing, stapling or any other modifications allowed.


Friday, June 10, 2022 – 01:00

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