After a history making performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Lankan swimmers are out on the hunt for more silverware, this time at the Asian Games 2018 which will be held in Jakarta Palembang, Indonesia.
The recently concluded Commonwealth Games brought…
The national body of swimming in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU), have selected a 5-man contingent to represent the country in Swimming, in the upcoming Asian Games from the 19th to the 24th of August at the GBK Aquatic Center in Jakarta.
- Matthew Abeysinghe
Sri Lanka’s top medal winner in the modern era, Matthew Abeysinghe is a treat to watch. He currently holds 9 Sri Lankan national records and is the sole holder of all the short course records up to date. Matthew also is the highest ranked Sri Lankan in the FINA standings with 871 points.
Abeysinghe’s latest accomplishments came at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when he bettered his own national records in the 50m and 100m freestyle events to reach new heights. Abyesinghe achieved 7 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze at the 2016 South Asian Games and will be a top prospect for a medal for Sri Lanka in his debut appearance at the Asian Games.
Matthew will be eyeing medals in his pet events, the 50m and 100m Freestyle events, and will also take a crack at the 200m Freestyle rounding up his individual entries. He will be the starting man in the 4x100m Men’s Freestyle relay team who managed to become the first Sri Lankan team to reach a final at the Commonwealth Games, earlier this year.
- Kyle Abeysinghe
Younger brother to Matthew, Kyle Abeysinghe is Sri Lanka’s most impressive up and coming swimmer.
Young Abeysinghe has marked his name as the first and only Sri Lankan medal winner at the Youth Commonwealth Games, bagging 2 silver medals in 2017, in the 50m and 100m Freestyle events. He was also one fourth of the 4x100m relay team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Focusing on his pet events in the 50m and 100m Freestyle events, Kyle will join the relay team to round up his events at the Games.
- Cherantha De Silva
A swimmer who is a national record breaker, Cherantha De Silva, is hungry for greatness. He is one of the few who received a fully funded ride at the state of the art Thanyapur Sports facility and training center at Phuket, Thailand in order to uplift his swimming.
In 2016, De Silva participated at the South Asian Games in Guwahati, India where he won 1 Gold, 4 silvers and 2 bronze medals. De Silva also holds two national records in the 50m and 200m Butterfly events. With 730 FINA points in the sack, De Silva qualified for the team with the third fastest timing behind the Abeysinghe brothers.
Cherantha is the finishing touch to the 4x100m Relay team that made history at the Commonwealth Games and will look to bettering the achievement this August. He will also compete in his specialized events – 50m and 200m Butterfly – looking to make a difference in his first Asian Games appearance.
- Akalanka Peiris
Sri Lanka’s own little Liam Tancock, young Akalanka Peiris is the nation’s hope in the Backstroke and Butterfly. With 693 FINA points, Peiris is a force that’s looking to make major improvements in the Nation’s International performance.
Peiris had a golden run at the Asian Age Group Championship last year, renewing national records of all three events he participated in. Sustaining his winnings, he is currently the record holder of the 50m Butterfly, 50m and 100m Backstroke events.
Akalanka will take on the Asian Games in 3 Individual events along with the relay. He will swim his pet events, 50m Fly and Back, and will take on a new challenge in the 200m Backstroke. Peiris will return to the Commonwealth 4x100m Relay team to swim the all-important third lap to round up his entries at the Asian Games.
- Kavindra Nugawela
With 692 FINA points, Kavindra Nugawela caps the team. Nugawela is a striving young swimmer, searching for his big break in the international circuit.
Kavindra is one fourth of the record holding 4x200m Freestyle relay team, setting a record of 7:53.46 minutes at the 2016 South Asian Aquatic Championship held in Sri Lanka. He also participated in the FINA World Junior Championship in 2017.
With giant hope, Nugawela enters this year’s Asian Games in the 200m Freestyle as his only individual event and will be the reserve in the 4x100m Relay team.
100m Free and the 4x100m Freestyle relay will be Sri Lanka’s biggest hope for a medal, with the nation’s best taking part in the events. Experienced and proud producer of countless national swimmers, Manoj Abeysinghe will reportedly take up duty as one of the coaches on tour while Michael Aaron Hulme joins the army as co-coach.
With no participation from the Women’s colony, the weight of a nation is on the shoulders of the fantastic 5. ThePapare.com is geared up to bring you instant news and latest happenings on their journey, so stay logged to stay updated!
*The Sri Lankan contingent for the Asian Games is yet to receive final confirmation from the Ministry of Sports.