Lakmal ignites Lanka’s medal quest

Published : 9:27 am  April 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Dinusha follows up with Bronze in Women’s 48kg 


J.A. Chathuranga Lakmal (right) with his bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games   


By S. R. Pathiravithana reporting from Gold Coast 

Twenty-nine-year old J. A. Chathuranga Lakmal from Sri Lanka Army, became the first to prove his Commonwealth Medal winning abilities when he took possession of the Bronze Medal after an exciting battle with his closest rival P. Gururaja of India – the Silver and the Bronze separating each other by a mere one kilogram at the Carrara Weightlifting Centre in Gold Coast, yesterday. 

In the very next weightlifting event, from out of the blues Dinusha Gomes thought she had reached the end of her Commonwealth Games campaign with a miss in the snatch 70kg event after most of the other competitors had performed much better than her. 

However, she came back strongly with efforts of 85, 88 and 90kg to total 155kg and to seal the fate of the Bronze Medal.

Once again the winning effort in this category was another Games record effort made by India’s Chanu Mirabai who finished with a total of 196kg while the runner-up Roliya Ranaivosoa finished with 170kg.  

In the Men’s event, the three medal winners were a cut above the rest from the very beginning; lifting Kg to Kg, until the ultimate winner Muhammad Azroy Hazalwa from Malaysia broke away in the snatch segment with a competition record of 117kgs. 

From that point it was a tussle for the Silver Medal between Gururaja and Lakmal.  In fact at one point one wondered it was Lakmal who would walk away with the Silver Medal when Gururaja faltered the snatch at 111kg. 
But Gururaja made amends to that folly in the clean and the jerk, by a mere one Kg. 

Lakmal who is a father of two sons had his early education at the Ukgalboda MV, did not have any inclination of taking up to the sport that has given his life a new dimension now.

He said: “My early life was uneventful and I was just another block of the village background. But once I joined the Army things changed. The officials from the Army who always have an eye for a promising athlete recognised my ability to go ahead in weightlifting.

Untitled-16“Initially I got a good measure of my abilities when I won the Silver Medal in the Commonwealth Weightlifting. Even there the tussle was between the three of us. But at that event I won the Silver Medal. This time though I finished with the Bronze Medal I had a better weight total here and I feel there is still a road ahead for me in this sport.”

When asked when his ultimate goal was Lakmal’s automatic reply was “Take part in the Olympics and win a medal there”.

Meanwhile, Lankan squash player Ravindu Laksiri beat Romit Parshottan (Fiji) in a first round tie.