Sugath Thilakaratne at the helm of Athletics Association

Published : 9:30 am  May 15, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (1330) reads | 

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By Champika Fernando
Sugath Thilakaratne was yesterday elected as President of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka with an overwhelming majority, a major breakthrough for the former champion runner.

Thilakaratne who is the only Sri Lankan to clock under 45 secs in the 400m sprint, having done it twice in a illustrious career received 83 votes in his favour while his rival candidate, Upali Kumarasiri, an ex-DIG managed just 24.
Thilakaratne attempted unsuccessfully to get into the administrative system as a vice-president on two previous occasions but despite his profile as an athlete, Thilakaratne failed to muster the support.

However both Thilakaratne and Kumarasiri had the backing of ex-administrators who were no longer allowed to contest under the controversial provisions of the Sports Regulations introduced in 2013. It limits the term of office to four years.
“This is something I expected for a long time and today I have got where I wanted to be. I know how challenging the job is but I am confident of taking the sport to the next level,” said Thilakaratne.

“People might question my abilities since I keep a low profile most of the time. That’s my nature. I talk less but work a lot and I will definitely see the sport prosper during my two years,” the 42-year-old said.
Thilakaratne is the only high profile athlete behind Sunil Gunawardene to head the association. Sunimal Rupasinghe was elected as Secretary while Tonado Jayasundara elected as Treasurer.

New office bearers:
President: Sugath Thilakaratne
Secretary:  Sunimal Rupasinghe 56, Palitha Jayathilake 51
Asst. Secretary: BM Nayananda 60
Vice-presidents: Manjula Perera, Senani Bogahawatte, Chandana Bopagoda, Lal Chandrakumara, S Vijeneethan, S Jeganeethan, Irangani Rupasinghe
Treasurer: Tonado Jayasundara.
Asst. Treasurer: N Muhandaran