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Warm welcome for medal winning athletes

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Sri Lankan medal winning athletes and team members with Sports Director General Dr. Shemal Fernando, SLA Secretary Saman Kumara and Susantha Fernando, the head coach of Tharushi Karunaratne at the Katunayake Airport
(pix courtesy: Sameera Pieris)

I had confidence to win a medal with a new record and I did it to bring honour for my country said Sri Lankan 800m gold medalist of Asian Athletic Meet Tharushi Karunaratne after she returned home on Monday night.

The welcome ceremony was held at the Katunayake Airport while Sports Director General Dr. Shemal Fernando, Sri Lanka Athletic Secretary Saman Kumara Gunawardena Treasurer Shantha Silva, Walala A Ratnayake Central Principal Dhammika Herath,Susantha Fernando the head coach of Tharushi Karunaratne and athletes parents graced this welcome ceremony .

“I had this same timing during my training under the guidance of my coach Susantha Fernando and I had confidence before this tour. My coach always said go for the best timing to set up record and I did it in great style,” said Tharushi who was also a member of silver medal winning 4 X 400m womens relay and 400m mixed relay teams. My parents ,my school Walala Central, and my coaches and Palitha Fernando also backed me while Sri Lanka Athletics and Sports Ministry gave good support to go on my journey. My next target is to get world Athletic championship and Asian Games medal and I am very happy with my performance in my debut Asian Senior athletic championship said Tharushi.

Meanwhile new Sports Director General Dr. Shemal Fernando said this was his first official event and athletes produced results from 1947 and they always did Sri Lanka proud. As new Sports Director General my duty is to give support to athletes and fulfill their facilities and it’s a great pleasure to be at this welcome ceremony.

Sri Lanka Gold medal 4 x400 men’s relay team member Kalinga Kumarage said their team combination helped to win a medal with Asian championship record and next target is world Athletic championship and Asian Games.Nadeesha Ratnayake 400m gold medal winner said her determination was very high to win a gold medal while coaches and Sri Lanka Athletics gave good support to all athletes. Nilupul de Silva the General Manager Marketing of Ceylon Foods Company Ltd the makers of Ritzbury handed over cash cheques to all athletes who took part at this Asian championship in Bangkok after the welcome ceremony at Airport.

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