By S.R. Pathiravithana reporting from Gold Coast
After a long lapse Sri Lankans can once again speak of sport being on the ascent.
Last afternoon the Sri Lankans won their third medal in weightlifting, this time silver courtesy sailor Indika Dissanayake, at the Carrara arena in Gold Coast yesterday.
Competing in the men’s 69kg category Dissanayake was a favourite for a medal and looked a huge contender for the gold, until Welshman Gareth Evans decided to join the party.
Then it became a battle between both contenders -- Evans and Dissanayake not willing to give any a miss as they went pound to pound.
Dissanayake started with a heavy 132kg lift and then increased to 137kgs in the Snatch before having a successful lift of 160kgs but dropping his lift of 163kgs in the Clean and Jerk.
The former Kingswoodian was not ashamed to shed a tear of joy.
The elated Dissanayake told the Daily Mirror, “My aim was the Gold and from the beginning I was going for it. Had I done the 163 successfully I would have achieved two objectives. That would have given me the Gold and at the same time I would have completed a 300kg lift and I would have been eligible to compete in the Olympics.”
“That is my ultimate goal. I am sure that I will be able to achieve this dream and I am determined to go for it.”
In the women’s weightlifting category, Chamari Warnakulasuriya, like Thilanaka Wiraj Palangasinghe yesterday, finished in the fourth position. Though she finally slid into the category of also-rans tiny Chamari Warnakulasuriya was full of grit and was thirsty to emulate the deeds of Chathuranga Lakmal and Dinusha Gomes who brought home two bronze medals in the first day of competition.
From the first call Chamari upped the weight that she was offered. This enabled her to stay among the medal hopefuls until her last attempt. She had two successful attempts in the Snatch at 78kgs and 94kgs and even attempted a 102kg lift in pursuance of the bronze attempt, but that ended up in the basket of bitter memories.
After the attempt she said, “I am glad that I achieved the Sri Lanka record in the 53kgs category, but, when it comes to international challenges always the challenges are bigger than our personal best and I must train harder to make a mark in my next challenge at the Asian Games which will be a reality shortly.”
In the swimming pool, Vinoli Kaluarachchi and Dilrukshi Perera failed to make it out of the heats in the Women's 50m Freestyle event, with Kaluarachchi facing a similar fate in the 100m Backstroke event.
The men's 4x100m Freestyle relay team qualified for the finals of the event yesterday, and finished last, before being classified as disqualified.
There was another victory for Sri Lanka in the |Men’s table tennis Team event when Imesh Ranasinghe beat Carlton Daniel of the St. Vincent and Grenadines to help his team to a 3-0 win and a second-place finish in Group 6 giving them a spot in the Round of 16, where they were beaten soundly by their hosts, 3-0.
In the Women's Team Group 2 table tennis tie against Wales, Sri Lanka suffered a 3 sets to 1 defeat eliminating them from competition.
Twenty-five-year old boxer Thiwanka Ranasinghe won his 46-49kgs category bout over South Africa’s Siyabulela Mphongoshi to move on to the quarter-finals at the Oxenford Boxing arena, yesterday. He won his bout 4-0 and his next bout will be on April 10.
Mihiliya Methsarani qualified for the Women's Plate Semifinal in the squash competition, with wins over Amanda Haywood of Barbados and Taylor Fernandes of Guyana, but her counterpart Ravindu Laksiri was eliminated when he lost to Kelvin Ndhlovu of Zambia in the Men's Plate quarterfinal.